14/05/2012 12:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dragons' Den Star Hilary Devey Was Raped At Just 12 Years Old

Dragons' Den star Hilary Devey tells of childhood rape PA

Dragons' Den star Hilary Devey has revealed she was raped when she was just 12 years old.

Hilary kept the terrible attack secret for 43 years.

Finally going public about the sickening abuse in her autobiography, Bold as Brass, brave Hilary writes that the vile perpetrator was a spotty Italian man who 'smelled of garlic'.

She was left alone with him after being introduced by an older girl, Sandra. After sitting together on a bed, he began touching her and pulling at her school shirt. Despite begging him to stop, the depraved attacker continued the assault, and even threatened to come after her if she told her parents.

Hilary, now 55, says he kept her imprisoned all night, and repeatedly abused her, leaving her convinced she would die.

Even though her father berated her for staying out all night when she returned to the family pub in Accrington, Lancashire, the next day, she did not tell him she had been raped.

Speaking to The Sun - who are serialising her book - multi millionaire business woman Hilary said: "I didn't cry or sob, try to explain or beg to be forgiven. I knew that my world had changed for ever."

How terrible for Hilary to have lived with this for so long.

There are a number of charities and support groups for adults and children who have been affected by rape.
Support and advice: