WARNING: This article contains sexual and explicit language and may be triggering for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.
Nearly six weeks after publicly revealing she had been recovering from being “raped, drugged and held captive,” Duffy, the Welsh pop icon, has issued a statement disclosing the harrowing details of the life-changing experience that she says led to her disappearance from the public eye a decade ago.
The last fans heard from the singer, born Aimee Duffy, was her sophomore album Endlessly (2010), and for the majority of the 2010s — after years of success in the late 2000s — fans across the world had been wondering where, exactly, the Mercy singer “disappeared off to.”
The singer shared her full story on Sunday.
“It was my birthday,” the 35-year-old wrote on a website called duffywords.com. “I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged for four weeks and travelled to a foreign country.”
“I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a travelling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me,” she continued in the statement.
Though she did not disclose who “the perpetrator” was, or specifically when and where the assault occurred, Duffy said that hiding her story for so long was “destroying life,” adding that she wanted to share it to “be freed” of her inner demons.
“I remember the pain and trying to stay conscious in the room after ,” she wrote. “I was stuck with him for another day. He didn’t look at me, I was to walk behind him, I was somewhat conscious and withdrawn. I could have been disposed of by him.”
While being held captive abroad, the singer said she thought about fleeing her kidnapper whenever he slept but said she “had no cash” and feared he would call the authorities on her as a “missing person.”
“I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days,” Duffy said. “I flew back with him, I stayed calm and as normal as someone could in a situation like that, and when I got home, I sat, dazed, like a zombie.”
As a result of being sedated so heavily, Duffy claimed she did “not know” if she was ever raped in her home during the four weeks of being “drugged.” She only recounted that the assault took place in the “foreign country.”
“The perpetrator drugged me in my own home in the four weeks,” she wrote. “I do not know if he raped me there during that time, I only remember coming round in the car in the foreign country and the escape that would happen by me fleeing in the days following that.”
Recounting being held hostage in her own home, Duffy said: “I knew my life was in immediate danger,” alleging her attacker had “made veiled confessions of wanting to kill” her.
“With what little strength I had, my instinct was to then run, to run and find somewhere to live that he could not find,” she added.
Afterwards, Duffy said she had relocated five times in only a span of three years as a result of “never feeling safe from the rapist.”
“I was on the run for so long,” she wrote. “The fifth house was not as confined as the other houses — where I grieved silently. This place I would spend solitary years to find the stability to recover,” she added.
“I felt he could not find me in the 5th house, I felt safe. I feel safe now,” Duffy revealed.
“Rape stripped me of my human rights, to experience a life with autonomy from fear. It has already stolen one third life. Deep down I do know it would have been a shame and done such an immense disservice to my existence to just delete myself and forget what I had experienced.”
Addressing her music career, Duffy said she constantly worried making a comeback and being met with questions about her disappearance.
While admitting she didn’t want to lie or “fabricate” any false stories, she admitted: “I thought the public disclosure of my story would utterly destroy my life, emotionally.”
“Hiding my story was destroying my life so much more,” she said in contrast.
“I believe that not singing is killing me. I’ve come to realize I can’t erase myself, I live in my being, so I have to be completely honest and have faith in the outcome.”
On her return to the public eye, Duffy suggested she may one day release new music, adding: “I very much doubt I will ever be the person people once knew.”
Back in 2009, she was nominated for three Grammy Awards. She won her first and only golden gramophone statue thanks to her debut album, Rockferry (2008), which was named Best Pop Vocal Album over the likes of Sheryl Crow’s Detours and The Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden.
Though she had planned to take only a two-year hiatus after releasing her sophomore record, by 2012, Duffy had fallen silent and cancelled — or simply not attended — almost all of her scheduled performances.
“I really don’t know what’s next for me,” the singer wrote of her future. “I would like to experience me being who I really am, for the first time, privately. To feel a peace that I have been, until now, only half feeling.
“I also won’t be doing any more unannounced statements on this. As liberating it’s been to finally speak and to finally sing, albeit on radio, I will now return to quietness,” she wrote.
The former pop star concluded: “I can now leave this decade behind. Where the past belongs. Hopefully no more ‘What happened to Duffy?’ questions, now you know … and I am free.”
Duffy’s statement can be read, in its entirety, at duffywords.com.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. You can also reach the centre toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
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