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07th Jun 2023

X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson ‘lived through hell’ as she breaks ITV’s NDA

Ellen Fitzpatrick

She has taken to Twitter to air her complaints.

X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson has broken her NDA at ITV to put the broadcaster and the show on blast.

Rebecca appeared on the show back in 2010 where she came in second place after losing to Matt Cardle – but beating One Direction.

After retiring from the music industry in 2021, she announced that she would now focus on “fighting for better treatment”.

The singer has now revealed she is breaking “multiple NDAs” and is going public with her complaints to ITV and Ofcom.

Taking to Twitter, Rebecca revealed she had “lived through hell” and didn’t want to stay silent on the matter any longer.

The 36-year-old wrote: “I’m bound by multiple NDAs but I cannot continue to not live in my full truth, being silent is worse I’ve lived through hell for years.”

She then claimed that she had contacted senior leadership at ITV back in 2021 as well as chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall in the hopes that an investigation into the running of their reality shows would be done, including “codes of conduct, post-show aftercare and freedom of choice of management.”

Rebecca went on to say that COO Sarah Clarke had replied “apologising about any personal bad experiences but declined to investigate further as ITV already had procedures in place and follow a Duty of Care Charter.”

Continuing, Rebecca said she had signed “contract after contract” under “economic duress and extreme stress and illness” and did “what I had to [to] survive and remain strong for my family.”

Sharing emails between herself and ITV, including COO Sarah, she also showed an attached copy of the contract she was “pressured to sign without an independent lawyer.”

One email saw Rebecca telling ITV she had “a traumatic experience away from the cameras” during The X Factor and “not only experienced but witnessed some terrible foul play from a number of directions.”

She then claimed that she was told if she didn’t sign two contracts “there and then” she was going to be “kicked off the show”.

Adding that she never saw the terms and conditions of the contract, “purely the signature page”, and she “didn’t have any access to independent legal advice.”

Stating it was a “total abuse of power”, Rebecca listed suggestions for how to better protect people taking part in ITV reality shows.

ITV allegedly claimed in their response that all parties are independent from each other and the lawyer she was provided was independent.

In her 2021 email, Rebecca wrote: “Only now 11 years on am I recovering from the impact of a number of the points mentioned above. Some of my experiences are in some ways unbelievable and I would not wish this on anyone, hence why I am getting in touch with you all.”

She then tweeted an email that she sent to Ofcom in the same year but it “appeared to be fobbed off.”

“I am open to communication should they now wish to follow up with my private complaint now that I have made my complaint public,” she added.

She said that X Factor contestants were “forced into contracts without independent legal advice … mentally manipulated and abused whilst having mental health problems … reduced to tears due to pressure/bullying … forced to sign to a management company with no freedom of choice [and] told if they refused they will be kicked off the show” and are “given accountants by the show who aren’t independent and don’t have the best interests of clients.”

In the body of the email, Rebecca wrote: “Although my life has moved on and my career is still thriving, I am very concerned about the future contestants and their welfare. I believe that Ofcom needs to conduct an urgent inquiry to ensure the future safety of contestants and ensure adequate safeguarding measures are put in place to protect future contestants on these shows.”


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