Rock singer Marcus Mumford has shared that he was sexually abused as a child.
In a new interview with GQ Hype, Marcus – the frontman of the Grammy-winning group Mumford & Sons – spoke publicly for the first time about the abuse he endured at the age of six.
He also revealed that his debut solo single Cannibal, released last month, includes lyrics alluding to the abuse.
“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 told the magazine.
“Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years.”
Cannibal opens with the lyric: “I can still taste you and I hate it. That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it.”
Marcus performing in Cannes earlier this year
Marcus went on to explain that he never told his mother about the abuse he was subjected to until recently, after playing her Cannibal for the first time.
He continued: “Couple days [after his mum heard the song, she said] ‘Can I ask what that song’s about?’. I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s about the abuse thing’. She was like, ‘What are you talking about?’.
“So once we get through the trauma of that moment for her, as a mother, hearing that and her wanting to protect and help and all that stuff, it’s objectively fucking hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a fucking song, of all things.”
Marcus’ conversation with his mother about being sexually abused formed the inspiration for another song on his solo debut, Grace, which follows Cannibal on the album.
The musician revealed he eventually sought help after a “rock bottom” moment in 2019.
“I’d had the people closest to me hold up a mirror and say, like, ‘Dude, something’s not right here and it’s your responsibility to go figure it out’,” he recalled.
Following this intervention, he told GQ that he found a therapist who specialises in trauma, and told her about his abuse experience on their second session together.
After telling her about being abused, Marcus found himself throwing up, noting: “Apparently, it’s very common, 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.”
Marcus and his wife Carey Mulligan at this year’s Met Gala
He added: “I lived most of my adult life up until just really recently in, like, layers of shame. And it probably started there when I was six, but I just got kind of addicted to shame, layers and layers of shame, which is why I feel now like I’ve done lots of figuring that out.
“And some of the areas in which I was trying to make that shame go away just led to more shame for me. And now being able to pick those apart a little bit and, like, chip away at the layers of it is why I feel kind of free, more free than I have in a long time.”
Marcus was born in California to English parents, who were leaders in the evangelical Christian group Vineyard Churches, eventually moving back to the UK when he was still a baby.
He has been married to Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan, with whom he shares two children, since April 2012.
Help and support:Rape Crisis services for women and girls who have been raped or have experienced sexual violence – 0808 802 9999Survivors UK offers support for men and boys – 0203 598 3898MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS:Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown Gets Real About Coping With Hate And Harassment As A ChildOlivia Newton-John’s Daughter Pens Emotional Message To Her ‘Angel’ MotherBBC Says It Broke Its Own Impartiality Guidelines With Russell T Davies Interview