Lucy Spraggan quit ‘The X Factor’ after being raped.
The 31-year-old singer/songwriter was just 20 when she competed on the show in 2012 and revealed she walked away from the singing competition after being sexually assaulted by a porter in the hotel room she was staying in after a night out partying with fellow contestant Rylan Clark.
Lucy revealed she returned to the hotel first after passing out during Rylan’s birthday celebrations at Mayfair nightclub Mahiki and Rylan later returned and checked her door was securely locked before he went to his own room.
However, a porter later let himself in to her room, using a traceable keycard, and attacked her.
Lucy told The Guardian newspaper: “I woke up the next day with this sense of sheer dread. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that level of confusion since. I knew that I’d been raped, but I could not process that. So I put my clothes on and went into autopilot.”
Lucy explained she could not continue on the show due to the side-effects of Pep (post-exposure prophylaxis – a drug that, if taken within 72 hours of exposure, prevents HIV) and she faced terrible thoughts while sequestered in a room on the 11th floor of the Park Lane Hilton.
She said: “That evening, I had to relentlessly shake away the constant pull to go towards the balcony doors. ‘All of this could go away so quickly,’ I thought.”
Spraggan received financial, legal and medical support in the immediate aftermath of the crime, but she has claimed she received no support after the trial the following year.
She said: “No one ever contacted me to ask if I was OK. No one called or emailed when the trial was over and he was convicted. No one offered me rehabilitation or ongoing mental health treatment. I was on my own.”
However, she praised Rylan for looking out for her.
She said: “People don’t understand how lucky you are as a victim of rape to get a conviction. Evidence is a privilege, which is a f*****-up thing to say. I was lucky because my door was locked. Had I been unconscious in the hallway, it’s not the same story. I’m still a victim, it’s still traumatic, it’s still horrendous. But I’m lucky because Rylan shut that door.”
Lucy also praised Simon Cowell – who was not involved on the show during her year – for calling her after she reached out.
Writing in her new memoir ‘Process: Finding My Way Through’, Lucy explains that he told her: “I have thought about you many, many times over the years, about what happened to you, about how I should’ve been there for you. I want you to know that I am truly, truly sorry.”
Simon told The Guardian that Lucy’s ordeal was “horrific and heartbreaking” and added, “when I was given the opportunity to speak to Lucy, I was able to personally tell her how sorry I was about everything she has been through. Although we met under tragic circumstances, a genuine friendship and a mutual respect has developed between us. Lucy is one of the most authentic, talented and brave people I have ever met. I have always supported her wish to tell her story as well as her efforts to bring about positive change.”