Christine opens up about her harrowing past in the documentary (Picture: BBC / Optomen / Duncan Stingemore)
Christine McGuinness has heartbreakingly opened up about facing sexual abuse as a teenager.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire star revealed the harrowing details of her past experiences in BBC documentary Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism, in which she traces the link between her condition, her childhood eating disorder, teenage sexual abuse and her marriage to Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness.
The pair, who share three children together who are also diagnosed with autism, separated last summer after 15 years together.
Holding back tears, Christine learns from professionals that a high number of women with autism have a history with domestic and sexual violence.
‘I experienced that,’ the 34-year-old begins.
‘It was a long, long time ago, and I didn’t speak up, and I wonder if I’d never said it because I was autistic, like because was it me? Would a neurotypical woman have said something? Was it my fault? All of those questions.
Christine and Paddy split after 15 years together (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)
‘But yeah, it is something I experienced when I was a teenager, and then when I met my husband, that was a time where I felt very safe.
‘And I wonder if that’s why I stayed in that relationship for 15 years.’
She adds that now being a single parent has left her ‘extremely vulnerable’, adding it ‘petrifies’ her.
She continues: ‘I stayed in a place where I was probably unhappy because it was safe, and I don’t like change, and ultimately I wanted to keep my family together.’
Christine tearfully shares her experiences of abusive relationships (Picture: BBC / Optomen / Duncan Stingemore)
Christine later tells the camera: ‘My relationships before I met Patrick were not very good. I’d say they were pretty bad experiences.’
Breaking down into tears, she continues: ‘Before Patrick I had been sexually abused, I was raped. I used to pray and it’s sad now when I think about it, I’d pray every night that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.
‘I didn’t want to live, just because it was so awful. It was just awful.’
She admitted feeling ‘safe’ with Paddy (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Christine’s words came after she also revealed her children had no idea she had separated from Paddy, 49, as they still lived together.
She told Women’s Own: ‘The children don’t know any different and they’re growing up in a happy and loving home – I just want it to continue like that.
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‘We don’t know what the future holds but right now it works.
‘The thought of eventually co-parenting in separate houses is something I’m going to really struggle with.’
Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism is available to watch on BBCiPlayer.
Victim Support Victim Support offers support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. You can contact them on 0333 300 6389.
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