Holly Willoughby was left in tears as she interviewed Eva Speakman about her experience of domestic violence.
The This Morning presenter was unable to contain her emotions as she and Phillip Schofield spoke to the show’s therapist and life coach – known as one-half of The Speakmans with husband Nik – about the physical and mental abuse imposed on her by a former partner.
Speakman, 50, wept as she recalled an incident that ended with her hospitalisation after her violent ex headbutted her in publlc.
Willoughby wiped away her own tears and repeatedly told Speakman “You’re so brave” as she listened to the story.
Speakman recalled: “I felt safe because we were out in a group and it had always happened behind closed doors just on our own. I was talking to my friends, I was having a really good time and I got the look. I felt a little bit brave because I was with other people who I trusted and I just literally asked the question ‘What was that look for?’... I just thought, ‘What an idiot, why did you say anything?’
“And then I got headbutted three times and then I remember hitting the deck. I think I hit the bar and then I just remember excruciating pain like I have never felt in my life, like, physical, and even though there was so much pain and I was so frightened because I didn’t know what had just happened to me, shame again because people had actually seen this.
“I just said to my cousin, ‘Help me, just take me to the hospital.’ And she did and she came with me, and even then I remember being taken down for X-rays or something, it’s very blurred, and I remember trying to vocalise to my cousin, ‘Please don’t tell Mum and Dad.’”
Speakman said she had decided to speak out about her personal experience after discussing running an item about domestic violence for the show that “hit a nerve”.
She explained: “I lied all the way through. And I think this is what people carry is this absolute shame, the guilt. Shame that you allowed it to happen to you, shame that you didn’t say anything, shame that you were made to feel that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have a voice.”
Speakman went on: “If you’re listening to me, knowing that I’ve been through this, doing what I do, there is no shame. You’re the victim, not the perpetrator. This happens so often… I think you have to talk it through, you have to realise that it’s not your fault… You’re a really decent person as you’re trying to protect someone that doesn’t deserve to be protected… They won’t change… It will only get worse.
“I think we should all stand together, those people that have been through this, and say, ‘No, enough is enough. We deserve better.’”