Content warning: this article mentions sexual assault.
British singer Duffy has shared more harrowing details about her four-week drug, rape, and kidnap ordeal, which even saw her taken overseas, in a lengthy essay online.
The Mercy singer first revealed she had been ‘raped, drugged and held captive’ in February, promising at the time to share more information in a “spoken interview”.
But instead Duffy has penned her story in a post titled ‘The 5th House’, revealing she had decided to share details of what she went through in these already “troubling times” in the hope people may take “some comfort that one can come out of darkness.”
“If you are reading this, I must warn you it contains information some may find upsetting,” Duffy wrote, adding that keeping the story to herself for all those years had made her “feel alone”.
“I never knew if I would get to the place of being able to do this, I am grateful to get here. Not everyone has the privilege of being able to talk, such as I am doing today.”
The 35-year-old - whose birth name is Aimee Duffy - said she was out for her birthday, when she was drugged at a restaurant and taken overseas.
“I was drugged then for four weeks and travelled to a foreign country,” she said. “I can’t remember getting on the plane and came round in the back of a travelling vehicle. I was put into a hotel room and the perpetrator returned and raped me.
“I remember the pain and trying to stay conscious in the room after it happened. I was stuck with him for another day, he didn’t look at me, I was to walk behind him, I was somewhat conscious and withdrawn.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.”
She goes on to say she had contemplated running away to a neighbouring city or town.
“I flew back with him, 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. I knew my life was in immediate danger, he made veiled confessions of wanting to kill me.
“The perpetrator drugged me in my own home in the four weeks, I do not know if he raped me there during that time, 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.”
In the immediate aftermath, Duffy explained she was too terrified to go to the authorities, for fear of her attacker finding her.
“I cannot remember getting home,” she wrote. “It didn’t feel safe to go to the police. I felt if anything went wrong, I would be dead, and he would have killed me.”
Duffy said the first person she ever spoke to was a psychologist months later, even though at the time the “thought of recovering was almost impossible”.
“In the aftermath I would not see someone, a physical soul, for sometimes weeks and weeks and weeks at a time, remaining alone,” she said.
“I would take off my pyjamas and throw them in the fire and put on another set. My hair would get so knotted from not brushing it, as I grieved, I cut it all off.”
Duffy said she moved five times in the three years following her ordeal as she never felt safe. That is until she found her ‘5th House’.
“I found somewhere to live, the 5th house, it was not as confined as the other houses, where I grieved silently, in townhouses or apartments. I felt he could not find me in the 5th house, I felt safe. I feel safe now,” she said.
Duffy first revealed what had happened in shocking statement she shared on Instagram in February.
“You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this,” she wrote in the post that has since been deleted.
“The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter. Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why.”
Fans took to a previous Facebook post, writing, “You are a strong woman Duffy“ and “You were quite right to take as long as you needed, the most important thing is your wellbeing and health which should always come first.”
After her follow-up album Endlessly, Duffy recorded three songs for - and had a role in - the 2015 crime-drama film Legend, before dropping off the radar for some time.
In December 2019, she posted a Facebook photo with the mysterious caption “2020,” prompting fans to beg, “Please come back” and to interpret it as a sign of an upcoming album.
For sexual assault and family and domestic violence support, you can call 1800respect on 1800 737 732.