X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson reveals she was abused as a child
Singer Rebecca Ferguson struggled to hold back tears as she revealed she was abused in a children's home at the age of eight.
The former X Factor contestant shared her story on ITV's Loose Women as the panel discussed presenter Saira Khan's recent revelation that she had been molested as a teenager.
Ferguson said she had not previously spoken about the abuse.
The 30-year-old said: "It's something that I've been through myself as a child, I was abused when I was in a children's home.
"I've never said this. I can relate to that."
The singer, who has started a women's website called #Superwoman, said: "I've never spoke about it. I've told one friend.
"Today, when it was a subject, because I'm here talking about the website, I thought, it's the perfect time to speak about it.
"Because that's what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to make a safe place where women can speak about their problems."
Asked how old she was when she was abused, Ferguson replied: "Eight."
She said being molested had affected her as she had grown older.
She said: "I think it affects a woman's esteem, I think how you go on to be treated by men... I think on how you carry yourself and what you expect to be treated like.
"I think if someone has took advantage of you from a young age... it's very hard to have strong self-esteem I would say."
The star said it had taken her years to build up her self-esteem.
Ferguson spoke up about the abuse just weeks after Khan said she was inappropriately touched by a family member when she was 13.
Khan suggested that Ferguson accompany her to counselling.
"I'd love you to come with me. It helps me and I think we could do it together," she said.
Ferguson later posted a message on Twitter thanking the show for allowing her to tell her story.
Loose Women tweeted in response: "You're welcome. You are an incredible women. Thanks for talking so openly. Lots of love xx."