Laura Whitmore opens up about sexual assault in honest post

Laura Whitmore has opened up about an incident in a nightclub in which she was sexually violated.

Writing in the latest edition of Hot Press magazine, the Wicklow native described how a stranger put his hand up her skirt in a nightclub and laughed.

“Last year I was in a club with my friends and I could feel a hand on the back of my leg,” she began.

At first, she thought it was her boyfriend messing or a friend about to pinch her bum but as it progressed she quickly realised that it was a complete stranger.

“The hand went under my skirt, between my legs, and firmly touched me. As I turned, I saw it was a guy who I did not know. He was laughing

“I pushed him away and told him to get his ‘fucking hands off me’. It was dark and I was shocked by what had just happened. I couldn’t recognise his face under the strobing lights and, then, he was gone”

After the incident she began to question herself, “I was a bit tipsy and I was wearing a short skirt. Did I deserve that to happen? I told the manager but what could I do? What was the point?”

The 32-year-old, who’s been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, went on to say that she had been too scared and ashamed to share her story, until now.

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“I’ve wanted to write this for a while but I’ve been scared. I feel ashamed to say I was scared but I was. I still am. Scared of what people might say, drawing attention to things that upset me, adding fuel to the fire”

She then went on criticise the paparazzi who look to take ‘pants shots’ and how some women are treated in comparison to men.

"Women are not playthings - either of men or of the media - and should not be treated as such.”

In the lengthy post, the TV presenter also referenced the recent Belfast trail, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the #TimesUp movement.

She finally expressed her fears that other women will stop coming forward when they have been a victim of assault or rape due to the media circus and ‘slut-shaming’.

“What really struck home with me was the number of women who contacted me over my social media to say that the derogatory messages the men exchanged was simply culturally accepted as ‘lad banter’ and that loads of guys in those kind of social circles do that – and that’s just the way it is.

“‘She was asking for it’. This is a comment I’ve seen repeatedly online since the verdict of not guilty came out and it is the ‘entitled’ mentality of phrases like this that sicken me to my core.”

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