Becky Vardy tells of how childhood sex abuse led to suicide bid
The wife of England and Leicester City football star Jamie Vardy has revealed she attempted to take her own life after suffering years of sexual abuse as a teenager.
Becky Vardy said her experience of being preyed on in her youth wreaked havoc on her childhood and the fallout from the psychological trauma continued into adult life.
But the mother-of-three saw her life turn around when she sought help from a therapist and she now wants to help other abuse victims.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Mrs Vardy said: "Abuse makes you feel horrid, dirty and lonely. One caring voice may make all the difference.
"I hope my story helps somebody else. Sadly, it's not unique."
The 34-year-old told the paper how the man first assaulted her when she was 13-years-old and continued his near-weekly attacks for three years.
Mrs Vardy described how she became isolated from those around her and began skipping school lessons. She showed promise as a runner but her talents went unrealised.
Aged 15 she attempted suicide because she "wanted to escape".
"It was horrible, I became a scared mixed-up kid who struggled to cope living in my own skin," she told the newspaper.
"I didn't want to live any more, it was as simple as that. I felt as though I'd done something wrong."
She continued to carry the psychological burden of her abuse into adulthood without therapy and in a "cry for help" made a second attempt at taking her life.
After suffering severe post-natal depression following the birth of her second child, Mrs Vardy confided in a therapist.
"It was as if a black cloud started to lift from me," she said.
"For years I'd been traumatised, felt bad, horrid. I'd hated myself thinking I'd done something bad. I realised I wasn't in the wrong.
"It was an utterly amazing feeling. Like I was alive again."
Mrs Vardy said she only recently revealed her experience to her husband, 29, whose Leicester City team enjoyed a historic rise to win the Premier League win in the last season.
"He's my soul mate. Someone I trust implicitly and who has my back constantly," she said.
Mrs Vardy said she has begun work to help young victims of abuse and plans to do more in the future.