Lucy Spraggan is left shaken after fire evacuation

Lucy Spraggan is shaken after a fire evacuation brings her book signing to an end as she is seen for the first time since she revealed she was raped by a hotel porter while on The X Factor

  • Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse is available from Rape Crisis on 0808 500 2222

Former X Factor star Lucy Spraggan was left shaken after her book signing in Manchester came to an abrupt end after a fire alarm went off. 

The singer, 31, made her first appearance on Saturday after she went public earlier in July about being raped during her time on the ITV show. 

She was seen looking in good spirits as she arrived at her book signing at House Of Books & Friends bookshop on Kings Street in Manchester. 

Lucy was rushed out of the store after the alarm sounded and fire engines were called to the scene. 

Staying close to her team, she was seen with her security guard and girlfriend, before she was ushered into Lucky Cat restaurant whilst the emergency was taken care of.

Shock: Lucy Spraggan, 32, was left shaken after a fire evacuation brought her book signing in Manchester to an end on Saturday

Moving forward: The singer, 31, made her first appearance on Saturday after she went public earlier in July about being raped during her time on the ITV show

Lucy is currently promoting her new book Process: Finding My Way Through which details how she was treated in the aftermath of her sexual assault experience.

It came as a complete shock to fans earlier this month when Lucy revealed the heartbreaking news that she was raped during her time as a contestant on the 2012 series of the show. 

She has confessed she felt like a ‘corporate problem’ after the assault and was left feeling completely devoid of self worth. 

The singer was just 20 when she was scouted to take part in the ITV series in 2012 and became an overnight sensation, with her audition of her own song Beer Fear being watched by millions on TV and online.

But the singer-songwriter left the show abruptly after week three when she was raped by porter Soby Jon – who later pleaded guilty to the attack and was jailed.

At the time Lucy departed the show, it was reported she had been ill.

In a new interview on Elizabeth Day’s podcast How To Fail, Lucy says the aftercare she received from the show’s production company Freemantle and ITV ‘deflated any ounce of self worth that I had left.’

Breaking down in tears, she added ‘what makes me sad about that was how let down I was. I just feel sorry for myself. I wish I could have marched in and said “don’t worry we’re going to take you somewhere, you don’t have to worry about anything.”

‘There was, and still is I imagine, a huge failure in duty of care towards me, not just my physical self but my mental self.’

‘After the live final of X Factor 2012 I was not contacted again by ITV, by Freemantle or by Syco. I wasn’t offered ongoing mental health support, I wasn’t offered work. I wasn’t offered a secondary platform to kick start my little row boat off of and restart my life and my career. More important my life, because that destroyed it.’

Assault: Lucy was raped  after fellow contestant Rylan Clark’s 25th birthday party during the show (The pair pictured leaving filming studios during their 2012 stint on the X Factor)

Fame: Lucy was scouted for the show at 20 and made it through the first three live shows before quitting abruptly, stating at the time it was because of illness 

The assault happened after fellow contestant Rylan Clark’s 25th birthday party, where staff and singers were given ‘free alcohol’ – ultimately leading to Lucy falling unconscious in her hotel room. 

Some time later, Rylan arrived back at the hotel and checked in on his fellow contestant. 

When he left he ensured the door was locked, meaning the porter then had to use a traceable keycard in order to get into the room and commit the rape, she explained.

The next day, Lucy woke up and instantly knew something was wrong.

The brutal attack left her unable to continue the show due to strong side effects of Pep medication – a drug given to her by doctors which can prevent someone contracting HIV. 

Yet Lucy has revealed that a glimmer of light came when she was finally offered accountability by Simon Cowell who called her after she wrote to ITV and Freemantle in 2020 after the death of Caroline Flack. 

Opening up: Lucy spoke about her experience as a victim of rape on the Lorraine show earlier in July 

Friends: Lucy has said X Factor boss Simon Cowell ‘was the only one who treated my like a human being’ after he apologised to her years after the assault  (pictured together in 2022) 

‘I picked up the call ready to fight and he said “I’m sorry”. In that moment so much of my life changed, Lucy said to Elizabeth. 

‘The power of accountability from somebody…It stopped raining for the first time in a decade. I didn’t expect that from him.’

‘I joined the big army of contestants who said “we hate Simon Cowell”. He was the only one who treated me like a human being. He’s like family to me now, it’s so confusing to me because I see the human in him.’

‘When Simon asked me what I needed, I told him nothing, you just did it.’

Lucy says she is not interested in tearing anything or anyone down but wants to be ‘a changemaker’ and has advised reality TV shows to set up ‘a mental health pension funds’ for anyone involved in the production.

A spokesperson for ITV said: ‘We have the deepest compassion for Lucy and everything she has endured as a result of this horrific ordeal. We commend her resilience and bravery.

‘The X Factor was produced by Thames and Syco, who were primarily responsible for duty of care towards all of its programme contributors. 

‘ITV as a commissioning broadcaster is committed to having in place suitable and robust oversight procedures, with a view to ensuring that independent producers employ the correct processes to protect the mental health and welfare of participants.

‘We continue to evolve our own duty of care processes on programmes we produce to ensure that there are appropriate measures in place to support contributors before, during and after filming. In an event of such a distressing nature, welfare and support towards the victim would always be of the utmost priority.’

A spokesperson for the production company behind the show, Fremantle, added: ‘The serious sexual assault suffered by Lucy Spraggan in October 2012 was a truly horrific criminal act for which the perpetrator, who was not connected with the programme, was rightfully prosecuted and imprisoned. 

‘Anyone should feel safe when they are sleeping in a hotel room – and it is abhorrent to think that a hotel porter abused that trust in such a vile way.

‘To our knowledge, the assault was an event without precedent in the UK television industry. 

‘Whilst we believed throughout that we were doing our best to support Lucy in the aftermath of the ordeal, as Lucy thinks we could have done more, we must therefore recognise this. For everything Lucy has suffered, we are extremely sorry.

‘Lucy was offered support – medically, financially and legally in the aftermath of her horrific ordeal. 

‘Since then, we have done our very best to learn lessons from these events and improve our aftercare processes.

‘Whilst we have worked hard to try and protect Lucy’s lifetime right to anonymity, we applaud her strength and bravery now that she has chosen to waive that right.’

Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse is available from Rape Crisis on 0808 500 2222. 

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