Rylan opens up about Lucy Spraggan’s ‘horrendous’ X Factor rape ordeal for the first time
Rylan Clark has opened up about the “horrendous” aftermath of a man raping his friend and The X Factor co-star Lucy Spraggan in 2012.
Spraggan made headlines last year after disclosing that the real reason behind her sudden departure from the reality TV competition was because a hotel porter raped her after a night out celebrating Rylan’s birthday.
“Funnily enough, 80 to 90 per cent of the healing had to be done way before this announcement,” Spraggan told PinkNews at the time about her decision to waive her right to anonymity.
“I [had] no way of measuring public or media response or anything like that. So, I had to be really sure in my decision and in my strength way before.”
Now, with the blessing of Spraggan, Rylan has opened up about his role in supporting his friend in the aftermath of the attack by a hotel porter Sobu John, who was deported from the UK to India after serving four years of a 10-year sentence following his conviction.
After the rape took place, Rylan played a vital role in preserving the crime scene, stopping other people entering the London hotel room before the police arrived. Later, he gave evidence that helped seal a conviction.
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“As a 24-year-old – it was the night of my birthday – to wake up to your friend saying: ‘I was raped last night’, while being on the biggest show in the country, while being followed by the press wherever you go… I don’t know how I did it,” Rylan told The Guardian.
“I don’t know what happened. Lucy calls me Jessica Fletcher because I came over all Angela Lansbury [in Murder, She Wrote].
“The first thing I did was say to one of the researchers: ‘Go and get the bosses’, and they said, ‘They’re busy’. I was like, ‘Go and f***ing get them’.”
“I think it’s the only time I’ve ever spoken to somebody like that,” he added, noting that he told Spraggan to call the hotel to let them know she didn’t want the room cleaned, so as to preserve evidence.
“I became like a crime detective and I don’t know why that was,” Rylan said.
The following week, Spraggan was given time away from The X Factor, which Rylan was offered as well. However, he declined because he felt that if both the “two wild childs” took the same Saturday off, Spraggan would “get sh**,” which he didn’t want.
There was a “lot that could’ve been improved”, he claimed, when asked if he thought The X Factor handled the situation well.
“I think everyone learned loads from those kind of mistakes, but I don’t think it was anyone’s fault other than the man who raped Lucy,” he concluded.
A spokesperson for The X Factor said: “To our knowledge, the assault was an event without precedent in the UK television industry. While we believed throughout that we were doing our best to support Lucy in the aftermath of the ordeal, as Lucy thinks we could have done more, we must therefore recognise this.
“For everything Lucy has suffered, we are extremely sorry. Since then, we have done our very best to learn lessons from these events and improve our aftercare processes.”
Rylan was applauded after sharing the interview on X, formerly Twitter, with Reverend Richard Coles labelling it a “lovely interview.”
Meanwhile, BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire wrote: “What an important and beautiful friendship between the two of you,” and LBC’s Carol Vorderman said: “Well done, you gorgeous, super bright, kind and extraordinary man. Love you, Rylan.”
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