Rita Ora revealed she was sexually abused by a man 12 years her senior when she was 14. In an interview with Lifetime, the singer and X Factor judge shared the story, rightfully referring to it as “child abuse.”
I was 14 when I had my first relationship with a guy...I would say [he was] about 26, and you have to remember I hadn’t had a relationship before then at all. I was very new to the whole world of a man and a female… It’s child abuse really, isn’t it?
At the time, Ora was flattered by the attention:
“I was almost obsessed with having a man feel like he wants me. It made me feel great and I didn’t care what he did or how old he was. I wanted it. It’s crazy...It’s strange how, once it starts, you kind of feel you can take over the world.”
Though Ora goes on to say she doesn’t want people to think she was “abused” and that she “wanted it,” it’s important to note that when a 26-year-old man has a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, that’s, well, literally abuse.
In a 2013 piece in Texas Monthly, Jenny Kutner shared a similar story detailing her relationship with 23-year-old man when she was just 14.
I still cannot determine when I would have become a victim, because I’ve never believed that I did. When would that have happened? Certainly not in those moments that Trace Lehrer and I spent outside the law, between the sheets, where I was convinced that the rules were meant to protect anyone but me. Trace Lehrer and I were the exception to the rules; the law safeguarded only fourteen-year-old girls who didn’t know what they were doing, when I was so sure that I did. If I did fall victim at all, I fell to inexperience, manipulation, or the jealous threats Trace Lehrer made to keep me quiet and convinced of his affection. I believed that I was safe, and loved, and in no need of rescue. If anything, I was a victim of delusion.
UPDATE: Page Six is reporting the 2013 interview quoted above gained new attention Monday after being cited by authors Douglas Wight and Jennifer Wiley in their upcoming (and unauthorized) biography of Ora. In a statement, her rep said, “Rita did not cooperate with this book, we have no further comment.”
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