TV presenter Scarlett Moffatt has told how she moved schools as a child to avoid bullies.
The Gogglebox star and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle queen encouraged bullying victims to speak out as she remembered how her own experiences often led to her eating alone in the toilets.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning on Friday, the 26-year-old recounted a later meeting in a supermarket with a former tormentor who said the pair used to be friends.
She told presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “(I said) ‘Why are you saying that? We were never friends. I had to move schools because of you and your girl gang, because you were just awful to me. How dare you say that’.
“And I just said, ‘I just hope your kids don’t ever meet anyone who is like you were at school’, then I sort of had a mic-drop moment where I just dropped my basket and walked out.”
Explaining the importance of reporting bullying, she explained how her experiences made her feel too ashamed to tell her own parents.
“Because I loved them very much I didn’t want them to worry, and I almost felt embarrassed going home when they would say ‘How was school?’ and I would say, ‘Oh well I sat in the toilet to eat my dinner’. I didn’t want my mum and dad to think that of me.
“After a while… I would sort of plant a seed on a Sunday that I was feeling poorly… I think then my mum and dad where like, ‘What’s wrong?’.
“I didn’t tell them for a couple of years. I did play it down a lot… I think they worried that I didn’t have anyone to play out with and things like that.
In a message to viewers, she continued: “But just tell somebody because as soon as I told my mum and dad, then it was a relief and I could get something sorted.
“Even if you are scared, because they have made you feel scared, as soon as you tell someone you are in control.”
Moffatt will soon be returning to screens again as she joins former jungle mate Joel Dommett and previous jungle king Joe Swash to host ITV 2’s I’m A Celebrity spin-off show, Extra Camp.
“I’m so excited, it’s a bit crazy,” she said, joking: “I’m going to have to get my Christmas shopping done now.”