I'm A Celebrity's Ruthie Henshall was abused by a vile paedo aged just four and was on the brink of suicide years later
I'M A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!'s Ruthie Henshall delighted fans when she made her debut in the camp last night.
The 53-year-old star is a much-loved musical theatre legend, enjoying a hugely successful career in both the West End and on Broadway, but her life hasn't always been so glittering.
The actress previously opened up about suffering sexual abuse at the hands of a sick paedophile when she was just four years old – and the devastating long-term impact it had on her life as she battled suicidal thoughts years later.
At the time, Ruthie said of her abuser, who was a family friend with young sons: "He was clever. Even though my sister Abi was in the house he would get me alone.
"I know that most paedophiles have been abused themselves but they should get help."
She added to The Telegraph: "The abuse changed me instantly. The world no longer felt safe, and I felt it was all my fault.
"It destroyed any pleasure I might have in sex: for years, I had to be tanked up – really trolleyed – to make love.
Many years later, in 2000, Ruthie was on the brink of suicide as she felt she was "losing her mind".
The star was in New York performing in Chicago on Broadway, but secretly downing a bottle of wine a night.
She told the publication: "I got to the point where I was about to go to a doctor to get the pills to kill myself.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
"The emotional pain was so terrible that it became a physical pain. I felt I was losing my mind."
Ruthie felt that this was linked to buried emotions, including worthlessness, with a split from her then-fiance John Gordon Sinclair adding feelings of loneliness.
The stage sensation was only able to get better when a friend recommended her to a doctor and she started to take anti-depressants.
She poignantly shared: "I thought it was shameful, but it was like someone had flicked a switch."
Contact the Samaritans
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.
Or email https://www.samaritans.org/
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