Duffy details being drugged and raped during month-long ordeal: ‘I’ve been warned by some I know not to tell you’

Duffy is sharing details of her rape ordeal.

The “Mercy” singer, 35, revealed in February that she had been "raped, drugged and held captive," leading her to drop out of the spotlight for a decade. On Sunday, she shared an essay revealing more of the harrowing story — and said she was doing so against the advice of others.

“It was my birthday,” she wrote on DuffyWords.com. “I was drugged at a restaurant, I was drugged then for four weeks and traveled to a foreign country.”

Duffy (real name: Aimee Anne Duffy) said she “can’t remember getting on the plane,” but was flown to a foreign locale and then came to in the back of a moving car. She was taken to a hotel and put in a room, where the unidentified perpetrator “returned and raped me.”

“I remember the pain and trying to stay conscious in the room after it happened,” 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 “I was stuck with him for another day, he didn’t look at me, I was to walk behind him, I was somewhat conscious and withdrawn.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. I contemplated running away to the neighboring city or town, as he slept, but had no cash and I was afraid he would call the police on me, for running away, and maybe they would track me down as a missing person. I do not know how I had the strength to endure those days, I did feel the presence of something that helped me stay alive.”

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The Welsh performer was then put back on a plane and flown home with her assailant, she said.

“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,” Duffy wrote. “I knew my life was in immediate danger, he made veiled confessions of wanting to kill me. 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 said the perpetrator “drugged me in my own home in the four weeks,” making her unsure of exactly what took place there.

“I do not know if he raped me there during that time,” she wrote. “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. I do not know why I was not drugged overseas; it leads me to think I was given a class A drug and he could not travel with it.”

She said after her escape, “someone I knew came to my house and saw me on my balcony staring into space, wrapped in a blanket. I cannot remember getting home. The person said I was yellow in color and I was like a dead person. They were obviously frightened but did not want to interfere, they had never seen anything like it.”

Duffy said she “didn’t feel safe” to go to the police because she worried “he would have killed me.” She said she “could not risk being mishandled or it being all over the news during my danger. I really had to follow what instincts I had. I have told two female police officers, during different threatening incidents in the past decade, it is on record.”

As for why she didn’t turn to family, she said, “Those who wanted to help were just too far away. The toll of me hiding, this last decade, also meant I was estranged from all. What happened was not only a betrayal to me, to my life, a violence that nearly killed me, it stole a lot from other people too. I was just not the same person for so long. Rape is like living murder, you are alive, but dead.”

She said the ordeal has “stolen one third my of life” and she “spent almost 10 years completely alone” with her secret that “no one, utterly no one, knew.” She wrote, “All I can say is it took an extremely long time, sometimes feeling never ending, to reclaim the shattered pieces of me.”

At times, Duffy contemplated changing her name and assuming a new identity in a different country. But ultimately she decided she had to reclaim her life and career, saying, “I believe that not singing is killing me.”

Credit: Richfoto/ Globe/MediaPunch Duffy-Live Concert-Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush, London, United Kingdom. June 8 2008 /IPX
Duffy performing in 2008. (Photo: Richfoto/ Globe/MediaPunch)

She said she finally was able to work up the nerve to tell her story because she was “tired of hiding.”

“In hiding, in not talking, I was allowing the rape to become a companion,” she wrote. “Me and it living in my being, I no longer wanted to feel that intimacy with it, a decade of that intimacy has been destructive. I had to set myself free. I have been hurt and it would have been dangerous to talk from that hurt place in the past, prior to feeling ready.”

And even when she was starting to feel ready to “un-trap myself,” she said that she was advised not to — which is why she delayed sharing her account.

“I have been very warned by some I know not to tell you,” she wrote. “Some alluded that I would pretty much be finished in whatever chances I have to make music publicly again, some have said I would be scorned by the public, another said I would be called selfish that the rapist is still at large.”

She said that “served to delay my talking by weeks, and me just lying in bed looking at the ceiling trying to find meaning. I take my personal freedom over any amount of stones that can be thrown at me. If I destroy my future, I do it to honor my past.”

For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

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