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Nicola Roberts was stalked for 5 years, and it had an enormous impact on her life

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Lauren Geall
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Nicola Roberts

Singer-songwriter Nicola Roberts has opened up about the impact of being stalked by her ex-partner for five years in a powerful new interview. Singer Nicola Roberts was stalked by her ex-partner for five years. Now, she has opened up about her ordeal in a powerful new interview.

In 2017, Nicola Roberts’ ex-partner was sentenced to a 15-month suspended sentence and given a lifetime restraining order for stalking. Carl Davies, an ex-soldier whom Roberts had split from in 2008, had sent the former Girls Aloud star over 3,000 messages over the course of five years from 2012-2017, which included threats to burn and stab her.

Now, cast in a brand-new role as Avril in Josie Rourke’s award-winning production of City of Angels, Roberts has revealed she is the happiest she’s ever been – but it’s clearly taken a lot of work for her to feel this way. 

Speaking to The Guardian in a powerful new interview, Roberts opened up about the impact the stalking experience had on her life – including the toll it took on her career. 

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“To have these bloody messages, life-threatening messages, every day – it just ground me down,” she explains.

“I’m happiest when I’m being creative, with a project to work on – but I just couldn’t. I’d sit with the pen and go to write and I’d be like: ‘This. Is. Shiiit.’ Like: ‘I can’t get out of me what I want to get out.’”

Just a few months after the sentencing, when Davis broke the restraining order by following Roberts on Instagram, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to press charges. Although they did eventually apologise for their decision in 2018, the impact of those events was significant for Roberts.

Nicola Roberts
Nicola Roberts on being stalked: “To have these bloody messages, life-threatening messages, every day – it just ground me down.”

“It was too late,” Roberts says of the apology. “That’s the first time in my whole life, I am extremely fortunate to say, that I ever felt [I’d been done] an injustice because I was a woman… I felt genuinely begrudged, like something extremely unfair was placed upon me, because I was a woman. And it was a horrible feeling.”

She continues: “I think sometimes certain behaviour of men is seen as normal or usual – but it’s never normal or usual to the victim, ever. It’s horrific.”

Defined as “a pattern of persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered, scared, anxious or harassed,” stalking can happen both on and offline. 

According to the most recent statistics from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, an estimated 871,000 women between the ages of 16-59 are stalked every year in the UK. And that number is rising – in 2009/10, an estimated 704,000 women became victims of this form of abuse. 

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In a bid to recover from the experience, Roberts said she took part in 12 months of trauma therapy, an experience she describes as “the best gift” she ever gave herself.

“I feel sad that it happened to me,” she says of the stalking, “but I feel like it led me to do therapy and the therapy has been the best thing I could ever have done for myself.”

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Victim Support is an independent charity that provides practical and emotional support to victims of all crimes, including stalking and harassment. For help and information you can contact the charity’s free 24/7 Supportline number on 0808 16 89 111 or seek support via the website: victimsupport.org.uk.

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