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22nd Oct 2021

Patrice Evra was “ashamed to admit” he was sexually abused

Callum Boyle

Evra recalled the shocking story in his new autobiography

Patrice Evra has revealed in his new autobiography that he was sexually abused by his school headteacher when he was a teenager.

The former Manchester United defender says he “was ashamed to admit” that he was the victim of the abuse, but has chosen to speak out because he “does not other kids to feel that way.”

As a 13-year-old, Evra had lived in the house of his headteacher in order to reduce the commute time between his home and school. Despite being a figure of authority who was trusted to protect him, the headteacher would force his way into Evra’s bedroom, where the abuse took place on a regular basis.

Speaking to The Times, Evra has said that he had kept the abuse to himself until recently, and that having to tell his mother was the most difficult part.

“Of course, she was devastated, it was a tough moment for me. I have still to tell a few of my brothers and sisters and close friends.

“A mother does not expect to hear this from their own child. She felt something [was wrong] and had asked me why I did not want to sleep in the teacher’s house. Only now when I am 40 years old do I tell her.

“It was a big shock for her. A lot of anger. She said she was sorry. She said: ‘You must not put it in your book, it’s private Patrice,’ but that’s when I say, mum, it’s not about me, it’s about other kids then she says OK, she understands.”

Evra admits that he did have reservations about including the full account of the story as he didn’t want people to think negatively about him.

He said: “I’ll be honest with you, when I first did the book, I didn’t tell the whole story because I was still ashamed and scared about what people will think and now I want to say it because I don’t want kids to be in my situation and they are ashamed of themselves, thinking they are not brave, because it’s not about being brave, it’s about being mentally ready to talk about it.

“So I just want to make sure kids out there have the courage and do not blame themselves, because I always blamed myself. I’m not shy to say I felt like a coward for many years because I never speak up. It was something heavy in my chest. But I don’t do it for me, I do it for other children.”

The 40-year-old then went on to say that living in denial about what had happened was something he wishes he hadn’t done.

“Living with that was one of my biggest regrets because I could have helped so many people,” he says. “I’ve had enough of this toxic masculinity. For my father, crying was weak, but crying is not being weak. I lost my brother and I lost friends, but I never cried. My mother would say: ‘One day you are going to explode’.”

Evra’s autobiography, ‘I Love This Game’ is released on October 28, 2021.