‘I completely lost myself’ Ulrika Jonsson opens up about her abusive relationship

Ulrika Jonnson, 54, spoke candidly about her experience of an abusive relationship on the podcast White Wine Question Time. The former Gladiators presenter told host Kate Thornton about her experience of assault and psychological control during her time dating footballer Stan Collymore.

The star recalled the famously reported 1998 attack in a Paris bar when Stan assaulted her in front of many eyewitnesses. 

Ulrika admitted she felt lucky it didn’t happen in private, as she wasn’t sure what would have happened otherwise. 

On the podcast, she said: “It was witnessed. It was a kind of a public event. I was very lucky that it didn’t happen privately. Because I don’t know how, or if, I would have come out of it.”

She also explained how the people around her felt that she had become a “completely different person” around the time she and Stan were dating. 

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“I was on edge the whole time. I was constantly tense and hyper and insecure and I just completely lost myself,” she explained.

“When the kick in the head happened to me, those bruises they went away, but the stuff that had gone on before was harder to process.”

The presenter reflected on how no one spoke about the term “coercive control” at the time but that it definitely applied to her situation. 

She had been with Stan for 18 months before he flew into a violent rage in a Paris bar.

She also remembered being astonished when, after the public assault had received press coverage, she still needed to defend herself against critics when there were “hundreds of witnesses and a camera crew” present. 

Speaking candidly about the assault in her column for The Sun earlier this year, Ulrika spoke about being “thrown to the floor” and said it was “the third time in her life a man had raised his hand” to her.

She also described being “deeply shaken” by Mel B’s Women’s Aid video, which showed the extent of her own dealings with domestic abuse, as it led to her to look back on past experiences. 

Ulrika said that the first time she was attacked was after her boyfriend accused her of “flirting” when she was 19 years old.

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