Evra reveals he was sexually abused as a teenager

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Former Manchester United left-back, Patrice Evra has revealed that a schoolteacher sexually abused him when he was 13-year-old.

The retired France international said the incident happened when he had to sleep at the teacher’s house in his attempt to advance his football career.

Patrice Evra is on the verge of publishing his autobiography titled “I Love This Game”. The book is expected to be out later in October 2021.

Ahead of the book launch, the former footballer who is now a football pundit had an interview with The Times. During the interview, Evra revealed how he had to deal with the experience of being sexually abused as a teenager.

The Frenchman also revealed that when the incident happened, he could not share it with any of his family members and friends even with his mother.

The incident forced him to stop sleeping at the teacher’s house which made his mother question why he decided to stop sleeping at the man’s place.

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File photo of Patrice Evra during his time with France national team.
File photo of Patrice Evra during his time with France national team.

It was until Patrice Evra clocked 24 that his mother and some of his family members got to know about the incident because he was initially scared of what people would say.

“I’ll be honest with you, when I first did the book, I didn’t tell the whole story because I was still ashamed and scared about what people will think,” Evra told the British newspaper.

“Now I want to say it because I don’t want kids to be in my situation and they are ashamed of themselves, thinking they are not brave, because it’s not about being brave, it’s about being mentally ready to talk about it.

“So I just want to make sure kids out there have the courage and do not blame themselves, because I always blamed myself. I’m not shy to say I felt like a coward for many years because I never speak up. It was something heavy in my chest. But I don’t do it for me, I do it for other children.”

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When the 40-year-old retired football star was playing for Ligue 1 side, Monaco, police approached him over the matter. Evra noted how some members of his family including his mother tried to see whether they could still take the case to court. But he decided to bury the matter.

According to the former footballer who had the best of his football career playing for Manchester United, the revelation left his mother “devastated”.

“It was a tough moment for me”, he added. “I have still to tell a few of my brothers and sisters and close friends.

“I don’t want people to feel pity. It’s a difficult situation. A mother does not expect to hear this from their child. She felt something [was wrong] and had asked me why I did not want to sleep in the teacher’s house.

“Only now when I am 40 years old do I tell her. 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.’

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“There is a lot of rages. 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].”

Despite the horrific experience, Evra went on to have an outstanding football career under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. The football icon who is regarded as one of the best left-backs in the world won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, and the 2008 Champions League with the Red Devils.

He went on to play for Juventus, Marseille before he returned to England to play for West Ham United where he retired from the game in 2018.

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