Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford: 'I was sexually abused as a child'

Marcus Mumford at the Roundhouse London.
Mumford said he hadn’t told anyone about the abuse for 30 years. Credit: PA

The lead singer of the British band Mumford & Sons, Marcus Mumford, has revealed he was sexually abused at the age of six.

Mumford told GQ magazine he "hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years" and that he addressed the incident in the lyrics to his recent solo single, Hannibal.

“Like lots of people - and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people - I was sexually abused as a child," he added.“Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption."

In the summer of 2019 Mumford said he sought therapy after hitting what he described as "enough of a rock bottom that I was ready to surrender".

He found a therapist who specialised in trauma and, during their second conversation, he opened up for the first time about the abuse he had suffered as a child.

“Apparently, it’s very common,” he said.

“Once you basically unhook the denial and start the process of removing some suppression, then it’s very natural for that stuff to come out. I’d had problems breathing all my life. Not asthma but just, like, catching my breath.

“That thing that happened when I was six, that was the first of a string of really unusual, unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age.

"And for some reason, and I can’t really understand why, I didn’t become a perpetrator of sexual abuse."

Mumford first spoke about his childhood abuse, since it happened, to a therapist in 2019. Credit: PA

Mumford said the last three years of his life had been about him processing what happened and trying to "correct some balance".

The song Hannibal, which has a music video directed by Steven Spielberg, is due to feature on Mumford's upcoming debut solo album.

The lyrics read: "I can still taste you and I hate it / That wasn't a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it / You took the first slice of me and you ate it raw / Ripped it in with your teeth and your lips like a cannibal / You f****** animal."

Fans responded to Mumford's own plug of the article on Twitter with praise for his "brave words".

"A really, really moving conversation. There's this beautiful realisation in discovering that, just as fear is cleansed by tenderness, grace wipes out shame," wrote one. Another said: "This is such a powerful and insightful interview. Thank you for opening up and sharing yourself with others so that they might get something from it as well."

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