Belfast Telegraph

Loose Women star Saira Khan breaks down as she recalls abuse

Loose Women star Saira Khan broke down in tears as she revealed she was inappropriately touched by a family member as a teenager.

The former Apprentice contestant said she only told her mother and brother about what happened after the relative died.

Khan said she was inspired to open up about her ordeal after talking about Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani woman who was gang raped in her village and forced to walk through the streets naked.

She told ITV's Loose Women: " I've never talked about this before, and this woman inspired me.

"I want any woman out there, who is going through what I went through at 13 years old, sitting in my bedroom, a male member of my family - he's died now - came in and did things.

"And I would never have talked about it, but I just felt I had to because of what's going on with this woman.

"She says, 'I just want to be a voice of these women who face circumstances similar to what I did'."

Khan added; "I f any young child or woman is going through something, that somebody is touching them, without their permission, inappropriately, please, it is wrong.

"Go and get some help, it is wrong, it is not culturally acceptable, it is not religiously acceptable, please.

"This woman is a voice for women around the world. It happens every day in our homes as well as villages in Pakistan."

The panel show was discussing the decision by US magazine Glamour to give Bono a Woman of the Year Award when Khan said she would have preferred to see Ms Mai on the list.

After composing herself during the advert break, she said: "I don't know where that came from. I think it was that courageous woman."

After being read a string of supportive tweets by fellow panellist Ann Diamond, she added: "I'm fine, I'm a strong woman."

The show later tweeted: "How brave is our @IamSairaKhan for speaking out about the abuse she suffered in her childhood.

"Thank you all for your messages of support for @IamSairaKhan - we are incredibly proud of her."

Janet Street-Porter has previously appeared on the show to reveal she was touched inappropriately by a hairdresser when she was 10 years old.

She told the panel that the incident happened during a visit to a hairdresser in London.

In 2015, model Penny Lancaster broke down on the chat show as she revealed she was attacked while on her way to school at the age of 12.

Lancaster, who is married to singer Sir Rod Stewart, fought back tears as she detailed how she had been accosted by a man under a bridge who had lifted up her skirt.


From Belfast Telegraph