Ulrika Jonsson has candidly shared her regret over speaking out about her experience with domestic violence.
The 53 year old model praised Mel B for her moving performance in a video campaign with Women’s Aid and discussed how it reminded her of her own experiences.
Ulrika, who recently admitted she would love a toyboy, was assaulted by her boyfriend at the time, Stan Collymore, in Scottish pub in Paris on the eve of the 1998 World Cup.
Following the public confrontation, Ulrika revealed she was approached by domestic abuse charities to speak out about her experiences, but decided not to.
Writing in a column for The Sun Online, Ulrika recalled: “When the story broke of my head’s collision with Collymore’s foot and I was asked by domestic abuse charities to speak out, time and time again, I did not.
“I did not because I felt that his one flash of hatred and fury felt so minimal, so reduced, so insignificant when I measured it against the suffering of other women who were being pummelled daily.
“I would have felt fraudulent, attention-seeking and as if I were exploiting the situation.”
Ulrika added that she now “regrets” that decision and added: “I wish I had had the broad shoulders to carry my pain forth and explain that attached to the striker’s foot was a long list of moments in time and incidents when the mental persecution and torment he meted out daily, had damaged me more than his kicks.
“I wish I had drawn attention to the fact that abuse comes in so many forms and not just the physical punishment. But the psychological and emotional destruction can often be so much worse.”
OK! has contacted representatives for Stan for comment.
The model also explained how Stan, who was a professional footballer at the time, was the third man to have hit her in her lifetime.
She added how attitudes to domestic violence have changed over the years. Ulrika wrote: “People did, without doubt, look at me as if I was stupid for ending up in such a relationship. Women from any walk of life could find themselves in the situation, which is why the Women’s Aid film is so crucial.”
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The model also praised Mel B’s recent video with Women’s Aid but revealed it triggered old emotions for her.
She said: “I was deeply shaken by her performance in the Women’s Aid video highlighting domestic violence, and it made me well up. I can’t deny it triggered some unpleasant memories, too.”
Following the assault in 1998, Stan issued a public apology. He said: “In a fit of petulant temper I struck out at the girl I love and immediately regretted my actions, but by then it was too late.”
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