Belfast Telegraph

Morgan defends his remarks over rape claims by US stars

By Maya Oppenheim

Piers Morgan has defended his scepticism over Madonna and Lady Gaga's claims they were raped and his suggestion post-traumatic stress disorder has become the "latest celebrity accessory".

The comments by the editor-at-large of the US Mail Online have stirred controversy, prompting a rape survivor to publically condemn his remarks.

Emily Jacob, the founder of ReConnected Life, accused Morgan of doing a "great deal of damage" with his tweets and suggested he was more interested in fame than "compassion". Writing in an open letter for the Huffington Post, Jacob argued the controversial columnist's remarks exacerbated the shame and stigma experienced by survivors and perpetuated women's fear of not being believed when they report sexual assault.

Responding to her letter on Twitter, Morgan said: "I don't know who you are, let alone tell you that you weren't raped. I remain sceptical about Madonna and Lady Gaga's claims."

Madonna said she was held at knifepoint before being raped on a rooftop in New York when she was younger in a first-person essay penned for Harper's Bazaar.

Gaga revealed she suffers from PTSD last week. This follows the singer's revelation two years ago she had been raped at the age of 19 by a man who was 20 years older.

On Saturday, Morgan suggested Madonna and Gaga's claims of rape should not automatically be accepted as fact without "proper criminal investigation".

"Lady Gaga & Madonna have both made ALLEGATIONS of rape many years after the event. No police complaint, no charges, no court case," the 51-year-old wrote on Twitter.

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