Labour councillor Karen Danczuk has revealed her selfie obsession on Twitter is her way of expressing her freedom after enduring sexual abuse at the age of six.
Danczuk, dubbed the Queen of the Selfie, who was allegedly told by Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman she was “too pretty to enter politics” (a claim Harman denies), has shared her heartache at being raped by a family friend over five years.
The mother-of-two, who is married to campaigning Labour MP Simon Danczuk, told The Sun how the abuse had made her feel “worthless” and left her feeling suicidal.
“I was on anti-depressants for years and wanted to kill myself. I now know I didn’t do anything wrong. Finally I realise this isn’t my fault. I can have fun without feeling ashamed of myself.
“That is why I take pictures and put them on Twitter – because I can. I am now free to do whatever I want,” she said.
The 31-year-old said meeting her husband, 16 years her senior, whose investigations prompted the inquiry into allegations of historic child abuse at Westminster, was the “only man I’ve truly loved. He made me so happy. He made me feel wanted.”
She has been criticised for posting pictures of herself wearing lingerie or bikinis, with accusations that she is a poor role model for girls in Rochdale where she is a councillor and that she risks undermining her husband’s reputation.
“They have no idea what my past is, and what the girls went through. They have no idea,” she said.
“I don’t mind someone having a go at me, but don’t blame child sex abuse on me because I happen to occasionally wear a low-cut top.”
Danczuk, who grew up in the small town of Middleton a few miles from Rochdale, told The Sun how the paedophile used to prey on her when she was six.
“He was just someone who would be around a lot. I didn’t take much notice of him until one night he came up to my bedroom.
“He didn’t chat. He just came to my bed, got hold of my hand and made me put it on [him].
“He tried to make it a game. I was young, but I knew right from wrong. It was wrong.”
The abuse continued until she was 11 years old.
She is due to step down as a Labour councillor at the next election to pursue other opportunities. It is believed she is keen to work in television.