Ulrika Jonsson says she's lucky Stan Collymore attack didn't happen in private

·3 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20:  Ulrika Jonsson attends the World Premiere of 'One Direction: This Is Us' at Empire Leicester Square on August 20, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Ulrika Jonsson attends the World Premiere of 'One Direction: This Is Us' at Empire Leicester Square in 2013. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Ulrika Jonsson has spoken out about the time she was attacked by Stan Collymore, saying she feels lucky it didn't happen in private because she doesn't know what would have happened.

The Shooting Stars and Gladiators star spoke of the effect the 1998 attack in a Paris bar had on her, and the disbelief she felt when those around her questioned what had happened.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, she also said with hindsight she might have started a campaign or spoken out about her experience to help others.

Talking about the attack by Collymore she said: "It was witnessed. It was a kind of a public event. I was very lucky that it didn't happen privately. Because I don't know how, or if, I would have come out of it. 

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"I was lucky there were other people [there]. It took two men to restrain this person. In many respects, I was really lucky."

She told Kate Thornton: "I think all these kind of episodes in your life you box up and you put them away. I held on very strongly to my truth and the fact that there was hundreds of witnesses and a camera crew there. 

"The fact that I'd had a drink should not make any difference. I wasn't p****d out my head, I was happy drunk. 

LONDON - 1998:  Ulrika Johnson and footballer Stan Collymore leave Cobdens Club in London. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Ulrika Johnson and footballer Stan Collymore leave Cobdens Club in London, 1998. (Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

"I was with somebody who had just threatened to murder me. He was going to kill me, you know, and then asked to speak to me. 

"Then it all happened very quickly. But after that the inference was very much about my behaviour. 'She's lively. She was in a pub.' I was downing a pint. Yeah, we mustn't do that."

Listen to the full episode to hear Ulrika talk about celebrating her body as she embraces the menopause and whether to start up an OnlyFans simply to annoy her kids

She also spoke about conversations she had had with top flight footballers a few years later when they told her that they'd heard she had taken her top off and was goading him.

She said: "I was just flabbergasted. I didn't even go into any kind of defence, because I just felt that's just an uphill struggle. 

"I'm not here to convince you of what happened. I know very well. But also the football world is very, very masculine, it's very male. It's very, very testosterone-fuelled.

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"I didn't challenge them. It's like Chinese whispers. They've heard from someone who's heard from somebody, it becomes that kind of thing.

TV Presenter Ulrika Jonsson, near her home Cookham Dean, Berks after being attacked last night in a Paris bar by her soccer star boyfriend Stan Collymore.   (Photo by Tim Ockenden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ulrika Jonsson, near her home Cookham Dean, Berks in 1998 after being attacked in a Paris bar by Stan Collymore. (Tim Ockenden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

"I think that that's something that many women identified with. I'm just exhausted with constantly either explaining yourself and justifying yourself, or trying to convince someone of something. 

"It just felt like, I said my little piece, and then parked it. What would have been smart would have been to have started some kind of campaign like the Me Too movement or even the [Everyday] Sexism project or whatever. 

"When I think back now, I just think: 'God, you should have said something, or you should have done something.'"

Collymore acknowledged the attack in 1998, issuing an apology for his actions saying: "petulance, jealousy and possibly having too much to drink are the real reasons behind this regrettable and avoidable incident."

If you've been affected by domestic abuse, please contact www.refuge.org.uk or call the freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 or visit nationaldahelpline.org.uk (access live chat Mon-Fri 3-10pm)

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