Celebrities

This is England creator Shane Meadows reveals he was sexually abused as a child

Filmmaker Shane Meadows has revealed that he was sexually abused as a child at the age of just nine.

The This Is England creator, 46, suffered bullying after his dad Arty was wrongfully suspected of murder and this involved sexual assault by an older boy.

Shane appeared in the press as a child after the story kicked off and he became known locally for the accusation against his dad.

Arty was arrested on suspicion of murder after he found the body of an 11-year-old schoolgirl, Susan Maxwell.

Shane recalled one occasion when he went to the park and was approached by two brothers, who made him go into the woods.

The older brother sexually abused him over a long period of time, which left a lasting impact on Shane.


He told The Observer : "I was so affected and [the abuse] only happened once. I’ve had at least three breakdowns as a result; it’s caused me a lifetime of anguish."

Shane initially dealt with it by pretending it didn't happen but began experiencing the classic signs of trauma, such as wetting the bed.

He claims he eventually forgot about the incident, but every five or six years he'd have bouts of depression or anxiety attacks, which he compared to being "dragged to the pits of hell".

Two years ago he went to a clinical psychologist and was diagnosed with PTSD.

He recalls his therapist asking him if he'd change what happened to him.

Shane said: "He said to me, ‘Imagine you could go back and make that event not happen. The risk is that you quite possibly wouldn’t be doing what you’d be doing now. Would you go back and change it?’


"And I know I wouldn’t. Having experienced that, and the empathy that comes with it… I’d never swap that in a million years."

In Shane's latest drama The Virtues the main character, played by TIE alum Stephen Graham, experiences something similar.

Graham, who played racist thug Combo in This Is England, most recently starred in Line of Duty.

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