Man United player speaks on sexual abuse as a child
Manchester United icon, Patrice Evra has opened up for the first time on his harrowing experience of being sexually abused by his teacher at the age of 13.
The former France defender has never spoken about the topic publicly but has now revealed it while writing his autobiography in a bid to help others who have been through the same torment.
According to Evra, the abuse occurred while he was living with his teacher, who had used his position of trust to offer him a spare room so he won’t have to travel from his home to school.
In an extract from his new book, titled ‘I Love This Game’, Evra reveals: ‘The teacher, believing I’d gone to sleep, would put his hands under my bedcover and try to touch me”
“I knew what he was doing was wrong, so I tried to push him away and punch him… There were no words spoken in the dark, but he was touching himself and getting sexually excited by what was happening.”‘On the last night at that man’s house, when he knew that I was going back to my family, he finally succeeded. He put my penis in his mouth.
‘Years later, when I was playing for Monaco, the police called me. Some kids had complained about this man and the police wanted to know if he’d ever tried to do something to me. Because I was famous and worried about the reaction, I lied and said no. They asked me if I was sure and I assured them I was. I have lived with that lie for many years. I can’t tell you how much I regret that.’
Evra said he only told his mother of the abuse two weeks ago, when he travelled back to France to make her aware before the release of the book.
He also revealed how his fiancee Margaux Alexandra enabled him to be more open about his past saying she is the reason that he has been able to put pen to paper and tell the harrowing story. ‘I met a new woman and emotionally I am more open,’ he says. ‘She is my best friend, my soulmate, even my psychologist, she is an angel.
‘Living with that was one of my biggest regrets because I could have helped so many people,’ he adds. ‘I’ve had enough of this toxic masculinity. For my father, crying was weak, but crying is not being weak.’
As a player at United, Evra played nearly 400 matches, winning five Premier League trophies and a Champions League.
With France, he achieved 81 caps and in 2009 he was voted into the FIFA FIFPro World XI.
In an interview with The Times, he explains: ‘The first thing my mum says is, “if you don’t sue him, I’ll sue him. If he’s still alive, I’m going to kill him.” There is a lot of rage. I know my mum and people from my family will do research and see if they can sue. But I buried this thing so deep I didn’t think about [prosecution].’