Recently, the internet has been abuzz with stories of Rita Ora’s past. The talented 24-year-old musician is currently on the receiving end of various criticisms after a new book about her revealed she had a relationship with a 26-year-old man when she was just 14.
Ora talked about the controversial topic in an interview with Amanda de Cadenet on The Conversation back in 2013, and it was included in an unauthorized biography titled Hot Right Now: Rita Ora.
In her previous interview on Lifetime‘s The Conversation, she said the 26-year-old man was her first boyfriend. “I would say (he was) about 26, and you have to remember I hadn’t had a relationship before then at all,” Ora told de Cadenet.
— Stylist Magazine (@StylistMagazine) October 27, 2015
When de Cadenet pointed out that considering the huge age gap, the relationship can be considered sexual abuse, the singer agreed with her saying, “It’s child abuse, really, isn’t it?”
However, she made it clear that she “wanted it.”
“I don’t want to say that I suffered it, because I wanted it. I don’t want to say that I was forced to do it. I don’t want people to think I was abused as a kid but I was definitely more mature than I should have been at 14.”
She also revealed in the interview that she gains some form of self-respect whenever a man showers her with attention.
As such, her words left many people wondering whether she was or was not abused.
Huffington Post pointed out that some people considered Ora’s statements “harmful” as they implied that Ora was not actually abused. A UK charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children spokesperson said Ora failed to see the possible effects of her words on young people who are in an abusive relationship. If Ora wanted the relationship, why is she being slammed for it?
Ora’s mixed feelings about her past relationship has proven once again how complex and sensitive the subject of sexual abuse is, and it also shows that each victim has different views on the issue.
In a separate interview with The Sun, the “Body on Me” hit maker candidly talked about her May-December relationship.
“I was very new to the whole world of a man and a female… I felt like I had a form of respect, I felt like he listened to me. Now I know he listened to me because he obviously wanted to have sex.”
According to a Huffington Post article, giving consent does not necessarily mean that a relationship is not abusive, especially when one of them is a minor. However, Ora maintained that she was not forced to enter the relationship, which made it more difficult to determine whether it was abuse or not.
The unauthorized book Hot Right Now: Rita Ora also chronicles how her family escaped war-torn Kosovo, then a part of socialist Yugoslavia, and came to stay in the U.K. One-year-old Ora and her 3-year old sister were placed in a home while their immigration status was being assessed.
The ebook is now available on Amazon too!! Order yours today – you won&39;t be disappointed!! https://t.co/JgIze6GiRV
— RitaOraBiography (@TheRitaOraBio) October 26, 2015
“We were sent straight to the children’s home, me and my sister, because my mom and dad were refugees and so were we,” Ora revealed in the book. She said she became rebellious and there was a time she doubted if she could ever make it as a musician especially when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. But, she later on realized her parents’ sacrifice and how they rebuilt their life from nothing.
The book seemed promising; however, the singer reportedly wants nothing to do with this biography, which is penned by Douglas Wight and Jennifer Wiley. Ora’s camp expressed that the singer “did not cooperate with this book.”
[Image by Timothy Hiatt, Getty Images]