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‘Great deal of courage’: Marcus Mumford praised for opening up about PAINFUL child sexual abuse horror

The Mumford & Sons frontman, 35, said he spent his life in 'layers of shame' after being abused as a child when he was six years old
UPDATED AUG 11, 2022
Marcus Mumford attends 'Ted Lasso' Season 2 premiere at Pacific Design Center on July 15, 2021, in West Hollywood, California (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Marcus Mumford attends 'Ted Lasso' Season 2 premiere at Pacific Design Center on July 15, 2021, in West Hollywood, California (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

EXETER, ENGLAND: Marcus Mumford has revealed that he was sexually abused as a child, which his heartbroken mother only discovered 30 years later when she heard the lyrics to his solo song. The Mumford & Sons frontman, 35, said he spent his life in "layers of shame" after the abuse, which occurred when he was six years old and was the "first of a string of really unusual, unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age."

''Like lots of people – and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people – I was sexually abused as a child," Mumford told GQ Magazine. ''Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years," he said, adding, ''And for some reason, and I can’t really understand why, I didn’t become a perpetrator of sexual abuse – although I’ve done my fair share of c**tish behavior."


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Mumford told a specialist trauma therapist about his childhood sexual abuse, which made him vomit, before channeling the memory into his first solo single titled 'Cannibal', according to the report. Among the lyrics read, ''I can still taste you and I hate it / That wasn't a choice in a child's mind, and you knew it." He remembered playing 'Cannibal' for his mother Elenor who asked him two days later what the song was about.

Marcus Mumford attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating
Marcus Mumford attends The 2022 Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York City (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Mumford reflected on the trauma his mother must have experienced learning about the abuse through the ''f***ing hilarious'' medium of song, and Eleanor was shocked when he revealed he had been sexually abused as a child.

Mumford was praised after the interview for his bravery in disclosing his sexual abuse. An NSPCC spokesman said, “Speaking out about child sexual abuse is a truly brave thing to do and Marcus Mumford has shown a great deal of courage in sharing his experiences publically." "By doing this, he highlights an important message that it is never too late to speak out about abuse regardless of how long ago it took place," they added.

Lindsey Boylan wrote, "It’s so moving and powerful to see a man in Marcus Mumford’s position come forward about sexual abuse. I hope this helps him as much as it will help so many victims who hear about his courage."


Journalist Oil Franklin-Wallis wrote, "I was quite shocked by the rawness of Marcus Mumford's new single, in which he acknowledges that he was secretly sexually abused as a child. A quietly moving piece by @zachbaron."


A user wrote, "2/2 I wish I could tell every survivor to not feel that shame and let's hope that Marcus sharing his story helps even just one other survivor to seek the help and support they deserve. #MarcusMumford #Survivor."


While another user wrote, "Whilst it's s**t that more men, like Marcus Mumford, and Nicky Campbell has spoken, I'm glad more and more men, and boys, are breaking the silence that's not theirs to keep. Keep talking guys and please know, it's not your fault. #MenToo."

If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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