Rylan Clark broke down in tears as he detailed helping his friend Lucy Spraggan after she was raped in 2012 while competing on The X Factor.

The pair were seen as the ‘wild’ stars of the ITV show and were said to have been exiled to a hotel away from the other contestants as punishment after ‘breaking out’ of the the luxury London hotel where they were being housed. 

Last year, Lucy, 32, revealed she left the show when she was raped by a porter in her hotel room after fellow contestant Rylan’s 25th birthday party, where staff and singers were given ‘free alcohol’ – ultimately leading to Lucy falling unconscious.

Having kept quiet on the matter for more than a decade, Rylan, 35, broke down in tears as he detailed the aftermath in a chat with The Guardian, confessing: ‘I’m getting emotional. That was a really, really tough time. It was horrendous and I’ve still not spoken about it because it’s not my story to tell, even though I was part of it.’

As the first person Lucy told about the assaults, Rylan played a pivotal role in securing the conviction of Lucy’s rapist, preserving the crime scene by preventing the maids from entering and providing evidence to the police. 

Rylan Clark broke down in tears as he detailed helping his friend Lucy Spraggan after she was raped in 2012 while competing on The X Factor (pictured in 2022)

Rylan Clark broke down in tears as he detailed helping his friend Lucy Spraggan after she was raped in 2012 while competing on The X Factor (pictured in 2022) 

The pair were seen as the 'wild' stars of the ITV show and were said to have been exiled to a hotel away from the other contestants as punishment (Rylan and Lucy pictured in 2012)

The pair were seen as the ‘wild’ stars of the ITV show and were said to have been exiled to a hotel away from the other contestants as punishment (Rylan and Lucy pictured in 2012) 

Reflecting on the incident, he said ‘As a 24-year-old – it was the night of my birthday – to wake up to your friend saying, “I was raped last night,” while being on the biggest show in the country, while being followed by the press wherever you go… I don’t know how I did it. 

‘I don’t know what happened. Lucy calls me Jessica Fletcher because I came over all Angela Lansbury.’ 

After the assaults, Lucy was prescribed PEP as a precaution, medication which, if taken within the first 72 hours of having sex, can stop the spread of HIV – but it left her feeling too ill to continue singing on the show. 

Rylan revealed he was also offered a week away from the programme by the production team but felt Lucy would come under fire if the two ‘wild’ ones on the show were off the same week.  

Reflecting on the public hostility towards him when he competed on the show, Rylan mused: ‘A lot of people were judging me when I was on The X Factor. P***k. Idiot. 

‘And I suppose from a selfish point of view all these years on, someone reading this, I’m like, “F**k you, you bastard. You had no f**king idea. You. Had. No. F**king. Idea.”

‘I had to get up on stage in front of 12 million people singing f**king Madonna while dressed as a drag queen while I’m dealing with that. I hope you feel ashamed of yourselves, you b******s.’

Lucy previously told how she felt ‘let down’ by ITV as she explained why she was forced to leave the show abruptly after the assaults. 

She had been scouted  for the competition at just 20, having previously worked as a gigging artist.

The brutal attack left her unable to continue the show due to strong side effects of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) medication.

Rylan played a pivotal role in securing the conviction of Lucy's rapist, preserving the crime scene by preventing the maids from entering and providing evidence to the police

Rylan played a pivotal role in securing the conviction of Lucy’s rapist, preserving the crime scene by preventing the maids from entering and providing evidence to the police

Showing his support for his friend in a podcast released last year, Rylan told Lucy: ‘I feel like you were robbed of a massive opportunity and I do think about that a lot with you because you are such a talent, and I’ll never forget that year.

‘I remember thinking she’s special that girl, and to have that taken away from you with that not remotely in any way shape or form being anything to do with you, I was gutted for you.’

He added: ‘From a non selfish point of view I dread to think what would happened if you were alone and if you had to deal with this by yourself.

‘We were the only two that were part of it and yeah it was difficult, it was difficult having to deal with it all.’

The X Factor was Lucy’s big break and she became the first contestant to play an instrument and sing her own song Last Night in her audition, which became the world’s fourth-most watched video that year.

Yet just four weeks into the live shows she was forced to withdraw after the assault.  

She previously told the Guardian how a member of the production team escorted the singer back to the hotel from the Mayfair Mahiki nightclub where a hotel porter offered to help return Lucy safely to her room.

But as the staff member left her room, the porter is said to have manually prevented the room from locking automatically.

She and Rylan had allegedly been sent to the hotel on Edgware Road, away from the Corinthia where the show usually housed its performers, with 24-hour security.

Lucy described how she believed this was part of their ‘storyline’ for the show, in which they were known for partying and staying out late.

Some time later, Rylan arrived back at the hotel and checked in on his fellow contestant – crucially then ensuring her door was locked before he left her asleep.

This meant that 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.

She said: ‘I woke up the next day with this sense of sheer dread.

‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt that level of confusion since. I knew that I’d been raped, but I could not process that. So I put my clothes on and went into autopilot.’

After telling Rylan, who she describes as a fierce advocate for her, production staff were informed and police were called.

Lucy said she had wanted to come clean about why she suddenly quit The X Factor, but claims various people encouraged her not to.

She admitted she was frustrated at the lack of aftercare she received upon leaving the competition, as although she reportedly received medical and financial support in the immediate aftermath, she says she had no support after trial.

Rylan mused: 'A lot of people were judging me on The X Factor. And I suppose from a selfish point of view all these years on, someone reading this, I'm like, You. Had. No. F**king. Idea."'

Rylan mused: ‘A lot of people were judging me on The X Factor. And I suppose from a selfish point of view all these years on, someone reading this, I’m like, You. Had. No. F**king. Idea.”‘

The X Factor was Lucy's big break yet just four weeks into the live shows she was forced to withdraw after the assault

The X Factor was Lucy’s big break yet just four weeks into the live shows she was forced to withdraw after the assault

Lucy wrote in her memoir: ‘No one ever contacted me to ask if I was OK. No one called or emailed when the trial was over and he was convicted. No one offered me rehabilitation or ongoing mental health treatment. I was on my own.’

The man behind the attack pleaded guilty at trial and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, meaning the singer did not have to relive the trauma of the rape in the witness box.

But she maintains she was ‘lucky’ her rapist was brought to justice – because her friend looked out for her: ‘I’m lucky because Rylan shut that door.’

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.

‘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.

Lucy was frustrated at the lack of aftercare she received upon leaving the competition, as although she reportedly received medical and financial support in the immediate aftermath, she says she had no support after trial (pictured in 2023)

Lucy was frustrated at the lack of aftercare she received upon leaving the competition, as although she reportedly received medical and financial support in the immediate aftermath, she says she had no support after trial (pictured in 2023) 

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