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15th Jul 2023

Lucy Spraggan was raped by hotel worker during time on X Factor

By Steve Hopkins

*Warning* Article mentions sexual assault.

Former X Factor star Lucy Spraggan has bravely opened up about being a victim of rape during her time on the singing competition. She revealed to The Guardian that she was raped by a hotel porter in 2012.

The 31-year-old singer details the ordeal – that happened while she was filming the show in 2012 – in her memoir, Process: Finding My Way Through.

The performer said the assault, which occurred after a night celebrating fellow contestant Rylan Clark’s 25th birthday at the Mayfair nightclub Mahiki, impacted the next decade of her life.

Lucy explained that while at the party, attended by the X Factor crew, she passed out and was taken back to the hotel by a member of the production team. A hotel porter offered to help get Lucy to her room and is then said to have flipped the security latch on her door as they left to prevent it from locking behind them.

Rylan later checked on the unconscious artist and made sure her door was locked, before leaving. The porter is then said to have used a traceable keycard to open the door and attack her.

Lucy told The Guardian: “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.”

The production team called the police and an arrest was made, but Lucy said she didn’t think they were prepared to deal with the situation.

Lucy was given financial and medical support in the immediate aftermath of the crime, but she said she wasn’t supported after the trial.

She continued, “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.”

Lucy was voted through the first three live shows before leaving the competition.

An illness was cited as the reason, at that time.

She said in the days after the assault, the side effects of Pep (a drug that prevents HIV) made her too unwell to continue with the competition.

A spokesperson for ITV said:

“We have the deepest compassion for Lucy and everything she has endured as a result of this horrific ordeal. We commend her resilience and bravery.

“The X Factor was produced by Thames and Syco, who were primarily responsible for duty of care towards all of its programme contributors.

ITV says their duty of care processes on programmes have improved since the attack in 2012. A spokesperson for the broadcaster also confirmed that protecting the mental health of participants is their priority.

“We continue to evolve our own duty of care processes on programmes we produce to ensure that there are appropriate measures in place to support contributors before, during and after filming.

“In an event of such a distressing nature, welfare and support towards the victim would always be of the utmost priority.”

You can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888 if you have been affected by issues mentioned in this article.