Ex EastEnders star Kacey Ainsworth has revealed she was groomed and abused as a child
Former EastEnders actress Kacey Ainsworth has made her Loose Women panel debut, where she talked about the real-life issues she has faced with abuse and eating disorders.
Kacey played Little Mo from 2000 to 2006 and she was at the centre of a famous domestic violence storyline alongside Alex Ferns, who played her husband Trevor Morgan.
The star has been a guest on ITV chat show Loose Women before, but today joined Andrea McLean, Janet Street Porter and Gloria Hunniford as one of the regular hosts.
During the programme, Kacey discussed her experiences of being groomed and touched inappropriately as a child by an older actor as she spoke about supporting charity Enough Abuse UK.
Going into detail about her experience, Kacey recalled: "I started work in the 1970s, I was eight at the time when I started working. What I realise now is that paedophiles work in plain sight. Maybe tickle you, single you out. And this is kind of what happened to me.
"It was in a production and it was very inappropriate what he was doing. I felt it was inappropriate at the time, but because it was in front of everybody it kind of normalised it.
"The tickling was inappropriate and then he would take me to more and more private places. And that's what happens. It's predatory, it's incremental.
"You kind of don't understand what they're doing and when things start moving forward you then freeze. You don't know what to do, you don't know who to tell and you don't know what to say.
"I was starting puberty. They were touching areas that were growing. That felt odd and weird."
Viewers praised her honesty on the subject, with one person tweeting 'you will help lots of people to speak out about this subject'.
Another viewer added that it was 'always very brave to share like that'.
She also shared that she had suffered from an eating disorder earlier in life.
Kacey said: “My partner and best friend told me I was too thin.
“He threw my running trainers in a skip and my friend threw out all my tiny clothes… She said, ‘You’re 28 years old, you’re not 11.’
“In my eyes it was to be successful, I needed to be this certain size.”
Kacey added that the pressure of joining EastEnders had been a worry for her.
She said: “I was worried that I would tip back over again because I couldn’t control anything else, storylines or whatever.
“I spoke to Elaine (Lordan) who played my sister Lynne and said, if you look at me and are thinking to yourself she looks a bit thin, please do tell me.
“She always did, she’d come up and tug my trousers and say, ‘they’re a bit loose’.”
She said of playing Little Mo for six years: “I don’t know how I did it, it was relentless.
“Six days a week, 12 hours a day and being miserable all that time as well.”
Kacey revealed the research that went into her character: “I have books and books about how she walked, how she talked, even how she constructed her sentences.”
Singer Belinda Carlisle was a guest on the programme and spoke about her struggles with drug addiction.
She said: “The fact that I’m sitting here – I’m not in jail and I’m alive…”
Belinda added: “I battled addiction for 30 years.
“I think that you have to hit some sort of bottom and mine was a spiritual bottom.
“It was a choice between life and death at the time and that was only 13 years ago.
“I had been on a bender and I don’t know if it was a hallucination, but it was a revelation that now was the time, life or death.
“I have lost so many friends to drugs.”
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