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Earl Spencer says he was sexually abused at his boarding school

Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, has said he was sexually abused as a child by a female staff member when he was at boarding school.

In an extract from his memoir, which has been serialised in the Mail on Sunday, the 59-year-old details the sexual assaults and beatings he suffered at Maidwell Hall, leaving him with lifelong “demons”.

He says he was abused by an assistant matron at the school when he was 11, leaving him with such trauma that he self-harmed over the notion she may leave the school.

Earl Spencer writes: “There seemed to be an unofficial hierarchy among her prey… she chose one boy each term to share her bed and would use him for intercourse.

“Her control over mesmerised boys was total, for we were starved of feminine warmth and desperate for attention and affection.”

As a result of the experience, Earl Spencer says he lost his virginity to an Italian prostitute at the age of 12.

He writes, “There was no joy in the act, no sense of arrival, no coming of age.”

“I believe now that I was simply completing the process set in motion by the assistant matron’s perverted attention.”

Earl Spencer also says he was beaten with the spikes of a cricket boot by the school’s Latin master.

He described reliving his experiences at the school as “an absolutely hellish experience”, writing: “I’ve frequently witnessed deep pain, still flickering in the eyes of my Maidwell contemporaries.

“Many of us left Maidwell with demons sewn into the seams of our souls.”

In a statement to media, Maidwell Hall said it was “sorry” about the experiences Earl Spencer and some others had at the school.

“It is difficult to read about practices which were, sadly, sometimes believed to be normal and acceptable at that time.

“Within education today, almost every facet of school life has evolved significantly since the 1970s. At the heart of the changes is the safeguarding of children, and promotion of their welfare.

“Although we have not directly received any claims from ex-pupils, considering what has been reported, the school has followed the statutory process and made a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

“We would encourage anyone with similar experiences to come forward and contact either Maidwell Hall, the LADO or the police.”

Earl Spencer’s book, A Very Private School, will be published on March 14.