Rylan Clark breaks down in tears as he recalls ‘horrendous’ aftermath of Lucy Spraggan’s X Factor rape ordeal: ‘I hope the viewers who judged me then feel ashamed of themselves’
Rylan Clark broke down in tears as he helped his girlfriend Lucy Spraggan after she was raped while competing on The X Factor in 2012.
The pair were seen as the ‘wild’ stars of the ITV show and were banished to a hotel away from the other contestants as punishment after they ‘broke out’ of the luxury London hotel where they were staying.
Last year, Lucy, 32, revealed she left the show when she was raped by a doorman in her hotel room after fellow contestant Rylan’s 25th birthday party, where staff and singers were given ‘free alcohol’ – which eventually led to that Lucy passed out.
After keeping quiet about the case for more than a decade, Rylan, 35, broke down in tears as he detailed the aftermath in a chat with The guardian, confesses: ‘I get emotional. It was a very, very difficult time. It was terrible and I haven’t talked about it yet because it’s not my story to tell, even though I was part of it.’
As the first person to tell Lucy about the assaults, Rylan played a pivotal role in securing the conviction of Lucy’s rapist, preserving the crime scene by preventing the maids from entering and providing evidence to the police.
Rylan Clark broke down in tears as he explained how he helped his friend Lucy Spraggan after she was raped in 2012 while competing on The X Factor (pictured in 2022).
The pair were seen as the ‘wild’ stars of the ITV show and were reportedly banished to a hotel away from the other contestants as punishment (Rylan and Lucy pictured in 2012)
Speaking about the incident, he said: ‘As a 24-year-old – it was the night of my birthday – to wake up to your friend saying, “I was raped last night,” while on the biggest show in the country, while being followed by the press wherever you go… I don’t know how I did it.
‘I don’t know what happened. Lucy calls me Jessica Fletcher because I got all over Angela Lansbury.’
After the assaults, Lucy was prescribed PEP as a precaution, medication which, if taken within the first 72 hours of sex, can stop the spread of HIV – but it made her feel too ill to continue on the show to sing
Rylan revealed that he was also offered a week off the show by the production team, but felt Lucy would come under fire if the two ‘wilds’ were off the show in the same week.
Reflecting on the public hostility towards him when he took part in the show, Rylan opined: ‘A lot of people judged me when I was on The X Factor. P***k. Idiot.
‘And I suppose from a selfish point of view all these years, someone reading this, I’m like, “F**k you, you bastard. You had no fucking idea. You. Did. No. F**king . Idea.”
‘I got to get up on stage in front of 12 million people singing f**king Madonna while dressed as a drag queen while I’m at it. I hope you feel ashamed of yourselves, you b******s.’
Lucy previously told how she felt ‘let down’ by ITV as she explained why she was forced to leave the show suddenly following the assaults.
She was scouted for the competition at just 20, having previously worked as a performance artist.
The brutal attack left her unable to continue the show due to strong side effects from PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) medication.
Rylan played a crucial role in securing the conviction of Lucy’s rapist, preserving the crime scene by preventing the maids from entering and providing evidence to the police
Rylan showed his support for his friend in a podcast released last year, telling Lucy: ‘I feel like you’ve been robbed of a massive opportunity and I think about it a lot with you because you are.’ a talent, and I will never forget that year.
“I remember thinking she was special that girl, and to take that away from you with it having nothing to do with you in any way, I loved you.”
He added: ‘From a non-selfish point of view, I dread to think what would happen if you were alone and if you had to deal with it yourself.
“We were the only two that were a part of it and yes, it was hard, it was hard to deal with it all.”
The X Factor was Lucy’s big break and she became the first contestant to play an instrument and sing her own song Last Night in her audition, which became the world’s fourth most watched video that year.
Yet just four weeks into the live shows, she was forced to withdraw following the assault.
She previously attended the Guardian how a member of the production team escorted the singer back to the hotel from the Mayfair Mahiki nightclub where a hotel porter offered to help bring Lucy safely back to her room.
But when the staff member left her room, the porter is said to have manually prevented the room from locking automatically.
She and Rylan were allegedly sent to the hotel on Edgware Road, away from the Corinthia where the show usually housed its performers, with 24-hour security.
Lucy described how she believed it was part of their ‘storyline’ for the show, in which they were known for partying and staying out late.
Some time later Rylan arrived back at the hotel and checked in with his fellow contestant – it was vitally important to ensure her door was locked before leaving her to sleep.
This meant that the porter then had to use a traceable key card to get into the room and commit the rape, she explained.
The next day, Lucy woke up and immediately knew something was wrong.
She said: ‘I woke up the next day with this feeling of pure fear.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt that level of confusion since. I knew that I had been raped, but I could not process it. So I put on my clothes and went into autopilot.’
After telling Rylan, who she describes as a fierce advocate for her, production staff were notified and the police were called.
Lucy said she wanted to find out about why she suddenly left The X Factor, but claims several people urged her not to.
She admitted she was frustrated by the lack of aftercare she received when she left the competition, because while she reportedly received medical and financial support in the immediate aftermath, she says she had no support after the trial.
Rylan opined: ‘A lot of people judged me on The X Factor. And I suppose from a selfish point of view all these years, someone reading this, I’m like you. Had. No. F**king. Idea.”‘
The X Factor was Lucy’s big break, but just four weeks after the live shows she was forced to pull out of after the assault
Lucy wrote in her memoir: ‘Nobody ever contacted me to ask if I was OK. No one called or emailed when the trial was over and he was found guilty. No one offered me rehab or ongoing mental health treatment. I was on my own.’
The man behind the attack pleaded guilty in the trial and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, which means that the singer will not have to relive the trauma of the rape in the witness stand.
But she insists she was ‘happy’ that her rapist was brought to justice – as her friend looked at her: ‘I’m happy because Rylan closed that door.’
An ITV spokesperson said: ‘We have our deepest sympathies for Lucy and all she has endured as a result of this terrible ordeal. We praise her perseverance and bravery.
‘The X Factor was produced by Thames and Syco, who were primarily responsible for taking care of all its program contributors.
‘ITV as a commissioning broadcaster is committed to having suitable and robust oversight procedures in place, with a view to ensuring that independent producers use the correct processes to protect the mental health and welfare of participants.
‘We continue to develop our own care processes on programs we produce to ensure there are appropriate measures in place to support contributors before, during and after filming. In an event of such a disturbing nature, welfare and support towards the victim will always be of the highest priority.’
A spokesperson for the show’s production company, Fremantle, added: ‘The serious sexual assault suffered by Lucy Spraggan in October 2012 was a truly horrific criminal act for which the perpetrator, who was not connected to the show, was rightfully prosecuted and imprisoned. .
‘Anyone should feel safe when they sleep in a hotel room – and it is appalling to think that a hotel porter abused that trust in such a vile way.
‘To our knowledge the assault was an unprecedented event in the British television industry.
“While we have always believed that we were doing our best to support Lucy in the wake of the ordeal, as Lucy thinks we could have done more, we therefore have to acknowledge that. For all that Lucy has suffered, we are very sorry.
‘Since then we have done our best to learn lessons from these events and improve our aftercare processes.
‘While we have worked hard to try to protect Lucy’s lifelong right to anonymity, we applaud her strength and bravery now that she has chosen to waive that right.’
Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse is available from Rape Crisis on 0808 500 2222.
Lucy was frustrated by the lack of aftercare she received when she left the competition, as although she reportedly received medical and financial support in the immediate aftermath, she says she had no support after the trial (pictured in 2023)