24/08/2018 10:26 BST

Katie Piper Says 'Strictly Come Dancing' Is Welcome Distraction From Acid Attacker's Impending Release

'I’m glad I have this new journey to concentrate on.'

Katie Piper has said that her involvement in ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has provided a welcome distraction from the news that the attacker who threw acid in her face is to be released from prison.

In 2008, Katie was the victim of an acid attack at the hands of Stefan Sylvestre, who was given a life sentence following the incident, and was told he would serve a minimum of 12 years.

On Friday, The Mirror reported that Sylvestre will be “out of jail soon”, which Katie commented on in a statement on her Twitter account.

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Katie Piper

Commenting on how signing up for ‘Strictly’ had helped keep her mind busy, the model and media personality wrote: “This is a really difficult time for me. I am trying to come to terms with the decision and this is something I need to deal with.

“Over the past two weeks, ‘Strictly’ has already given me such a welcome and positive distraction from my past. Whilst there is never a good time to hear this news, I’m glad I have this new journey to concentrate on.”

Katie recently spoke out about how the effects of the acid attack could make things more difficult for her, as she still suffers from breathing issues, and is blind in one eye.

The respiratory problem makes training a bit harder,” she explained. “I tried to practise some steps and can’t really move my head back because of a band of scar tissue that starts at the top of my head.

“Everyone will be like, ‘Why’s she pulling that funny face?’ and I’ll be like, ’No, that’s my face!’”

Katie needed over 40 operations following the attack, including pioneering facial skin grafts, and has been open about her battles with depression as she recovered.

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