'Britain's Got Talent' Star Ian Marshall Reveals He Attempted Suicide After Being Raped Aged 14

'Even in your darkest hour you have to keep going.'

24/04/2016 09:35

'Britain's Got Talent' star Ian Marshall has told of how he attempted suicide after being raped as a teenager. 

The singer was seen auditioning for the ITV talent show with wife Anne on Saturday (23 April), and the pair's rendition of Beyoncé's 'Crazy In Love' led to David Walliams pressing his Golden Buzzer for them. 

But viewers will not have been aware of Ian's heartbreaking childhood, which he has now opened up about in an interview with the Daily Star. 

Ian Marshall has revealed he was raped at the age of 14

Ian was just 14-year-old when he was raped by two men while living on the streets, having run away from home to escape his abusive, alcoholic father. 

While sleeping rough on the streets of Barnsley, Yorkshire, two men in their forties lured him into a house, after promising him a bed for the night, and abused him.

"I was a runaway as a boy. My father was an alcoholic bare knuckle fighter who used to love using his fists," he explained. “I was a slave basically and used to get beaten all the time."

Revealing he felt like "no-one wanted him at all" as he slept on the streets in the snow without a coat, stealing fruit from a market stall to survive, Ian told of how he was given hope by the two men, who would eventually go on to attack him. 

“Two guys offered me a warm room and I was naive and said yes and they raped me," he said. "I didn’t go to the police because I didn’t want my mum and dad to find me."

David Walliams pressed his Golden Buzzer for Ian and his wife Anne

The attack had a lasting impact on Ian, who later tried to attempt suicide.

“It haunts you," he added to The Mirror. "I tried suicide a few times but then I joined the army and that saved me because I saw the world and met Anne.

“No matter what happens in your life, you should never give up - even in your darkest hour you have to keep going.”

'Britain's Got Talent' continues next Saturday at 8pm on ITV. 

Useful websites and helplines:
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk
  • HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41
  • Victim Support - Visit victimsupport.org.uk or call 0808 168 9111
  • Sexual Abuse Referral Centres - Find a SARC
  • Rape Crisis - Visit rapecrisis.org.uk or call 0808 802 9999
  • The Rape and Abuse Line - Visit rapeandabuseline.co.uk or call 0808 800 0123 (answered by women) or 0808 800 0122 (answered by men).
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