Wednesday 19 September 2018

Laura Whitmore: 'A man put his hand up my skirt in a nightclub and laughed'

Laura Whitmore attends the 26th annual Music Industry Trust Awards held at The Grosvenor House Hotel on November 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Laura Whitmore attends the 26th annual Music Industry Trust Awards held at The Grosvenor House Hotel on November 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

TV presenter Laura Whitmore has spoken out about the time a stranger put his hand up her skirt in a nightclub and laughed.

The 32-year-old said the shocking incident happened while she was out with her boyfriend, comedian Iain Stirling, and some friends last year.

"Last year I was in a club with my friends and I could feel a hand on the back of my leg," the broadcaster wrote in the new edition of Hot Press magazine.

"Initially I thought it was my boyfriend messing or a mate about to pinch my bottom – but the hand went under my skirt, between my legs, and firmly touched me. As I turned, I saw it was a guy who I did not know. He was laughing."

She said she has wanted to speak out about her experience for a while, but felt "scared of what people might say".

"I pushed him away and told him to get his ‘f***ing hands off me’.

"It was dark and I was shocked by what had just happened. I couldn’t recognise his face under the strobing lights and, then, he was gone.

"I was a bit tipsy and I was wearing a short skirt. Did I deserve that to happen? I told the manager but what could I do? What was the point?"

The Wicklow woman went on criticise how some women are treated in comparison to men.

"Away from allegations of rape, and flawed judicial systems, what has really hit me is how women are portrayed in general.

"All this shaming and degrading. In a sense, the ‘Me Too’ movement is just the tip of the iceberg."

She also slammed male paparazzi for taking "pants shots" of female celebrities, saying those in the public eye are not "playthings."

"I love this life and I've been blessed with wonderful opportunities - but I've had enough of being trivialised and gossiped about.

"Women are not playthings - either of men or of the media - and should not be treated as such."

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