Monday 26 September 2016

‘If I don't get out of this he'll kill me’- Britain’s Got Talent star opens up her abusive relationship with her ex-husband

Published 31/03/2016 | 10:47

Becky's former husband pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Becky's former husband pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

A former Britain’s Got Talent star has opened up about the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband, who fractured her jaw just hours after she gave birth to twins.

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Singer Becky O’Brien (35) urged men and women in controlling relationships to seek help before the abuse escalates to physical violence.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning show, Becky opened up about her violent and abusive relationship with her former husband Stephen Moonesamy, who attacked her in hospital and broke her jaw.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing," she said.

Becky's injuries (Photo Credit: Becky O'Brien/ITV This Morning)
Becky's injuries (Photo Credit: Becky O'Brien/ITV This Morning)

“Obviously violence is a huge part but there is a lot that goes on alongside that, such as coercive control.

“When I look back now, I see things that I didn't recognise as being abusive or controlling. Decisions I thought were being made because someone was being caring, was actually being controlling.”

Becky was a single mum-of-three when she met her husband and revealed that she excused his controlling behaviour because he had taken on her family.

“At the time I almost excused the behaviour, thinking "he's taken on too much It's me and my children and now I'm pregnant".

“I started to blame myself and as soon as you do that you start to adapt your behaviour. And as soon as you do that to tiptoe around the other person that's when the coercive control starts.

“I would absolutely say that before this happened I would have been one of those people saying "why doesn't she just leave?"

Becky pictured with her former husband Stephen (Photo Credit: Becky O'Brien/ITV This Morning)
Becky pictured with her former husband Stephen (Photo Credit: Becky O'Brien/ITV This Morning)

Becky discovered she was pregnant with twins soon after the pair wed and her pregnancy was exceptionally difficult as she suffered from hyperemesis.

The twins Chloe and Toby were born three months early and Becky’s husband blamed her for their premature arrival.

“I was exhausted,' Becky said.

"But Stephen didn't seem interested in the twins at all. He didn't even want to hold Toby. He started saying it was my fault they'd come early. At that point I was so stressed and exhausted, I just asked him to leave.

“I stood up to walk across the room, but he threw me on to my bed and started beating me into the bed. I remember thinking, "if I don't get out of this he'll kill me".

“I must have been screaming, but the nurses didn't come for a few minutes because I was still on the maternity ward and they thought it was just someone in labour.

“When they arrived, he calmly left the room, waited for the lift and went home. He called police and told them "I've just attacked my wife".”

Months after the attack, Stephen pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm at Luton Crown Court in Britain but was sparred jail time as he did not have a previous criminal history.

However, Stephen appeared remorseful and Becky reunited with her husband as she was feeling the pressure of being a single mum.

"I tried to brush things under the carpet," she said.

However, Stephen’s controlling behaviour began to re-emerge.

“I felt like a prisoner in my own home,” she said.

“Stephen was like an army sergeant. He didn't like me going out on my own, didn't want me to have a life.”

After years of abuse Becky had the courage to file for divorce in April 2012 and struggled for years to raise her five young children as a single mom.

Later that year, Becky met her partner Gary and went on to reach the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2015.

"It's easy to think, why doesn't someone just leave? But it's more than that.

"I want women who may be stuck in an abusive relationship to know that help is out there.

“Sometimes that gut instinct that tells you question this. If you're not sure, make a phone call.

“Just speak to somebody because if you're not sure it's better to ask the question and get the help early rather than let it carry on and on.”

If you are the victim on domestic abuse and are seeking support or information visit www.womensaid.ie or call 1800 341 900.

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