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Image / Editorial

‘Recovery took time’: Singer Duffy reveals why she disappeared from the spotlight

by Jennifer McShane
25th Feb 2020

The British singer was poised for greatness in the late 2000s, but gradually faded out of the spotlight. Thought to be her dissatisfaction with public life, she has now publically revealed the gut-wrenching reason she took a step back 

“Whatever happened to Duffy?” is a question I would frequently ask as the Welsh singer crooned out Warwick Avenue on a Spotify playlist of mine. Once, she was everywhere. Her voice had a uniqueness to it, a soulful quality that reminded me of Adele. Remember Mercy? That’s her. Only following the promotional run of her second album, she all but disappeared.

Her time out of the spotlight wasn’t done by choice, but by necessity. She needed time to heal.

Duffy has taken to social media to reveal that she recused herself from her career and the limelight as the result of trauma from being kidnapped and raped. She did not offer a time frame for when the assault occurred, but said details would be forthcoming in an interview that will be made public.

In an Instagram post, she wrote, “The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, (after) the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine.”

Duffy wrote that she decided to go public after finding one of the many journalists who’d tried contacting her over the years to be “kind” and telling her full story to him last summer. She added that an audio interview where she goes into greater detail will be coming in the next few weeks.


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A post shared by @duffy on

“You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this,” she said. “The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter. Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak.”

“Slowly it unbroke”

Her heart was now “unbroken,” she said, explaining that she felt she could not sing, nor be true to her artistic persona without coming to terms with her trauma first.

You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes,” she wrote.

“I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke”

“In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview. If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that.”

“Her bravery is unbelievable”

In an era post–#MeToo, her strength and bravery never go unnoticed. Where it not for the bravery of such women, sex offenders such as Harvey Weinstein might still be free to roam, ruining so many lives. To speak out now, when she felt ready and able, is the greatest thing she could do.

She has already been praised for speaking out, and sharing a time of horror, to help heal herself.

She ended the post with a plea: “Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.”

Main photograph: @Duffy