The Voice singing sensation Joelle Moses has bravely admitted she was sexually assaulted at the age of 13.
Last night the 21-year-old’s powerful version of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep had all four judges on the BBC1 show fighting to sign her up before she plumped for Will.i.am.
Just before taking the stage, backing singer Joelle told viewers: “I think this could be my chance to shine.”
But The People can reveal that underneath her bold performance lies an agonising battle to regain confidence after being sexually attacked by a gang of boys from her London school.
She was also bullied by fellow pupils angry that she got the lads expelled.
Joelle, who also reached X Factor’s Bootcamp stage in 2008, said she is now waiving her anonymity to help other girls who might be going through a similar experience.
She said: “I feel like I’m a stronger person now because of what happened.
“The main guy who initiated it wasn’t remorseful and I was sure he could do worse so I did have to get the police involved.
“It was so hard and so painful to overcome, but I had to.
“I had to find it in my heart to forgive them, to move on. I have forgiven them – but karma’s a bitch.”
Three other girls were present when Joelle was attacked.
She said: “They looked shocked and horrified at first, but they just went. They wouldn’t go to court, they wouldn’t speak about what happened. I saw one of them after X Factor and she wanted to come to me, but as she was walking over she stopped. That showed me she knew what she had done was wrong.
“People acted like it never happened, but for me it happened every day.”
After the attack, Joelle’s life at school became a nightmare.
She said: “They were the most popular boys in the school so when the police got involved and they got kicked out people were angry at me.
“They had a gang in the school and they bullied me, made me an outcast and did a lot of horrible things. The bullies would tell people not to be friends with me.
“If you were around me you would get verbally abused. I only had two friends.
“The most disgusting thing I remember they did was peeing in a bottle and throwing it at us on our way to the train station.”
But incredibly, Joelle says she can forgive the bullies whose taunting got so bad she was forced to miss months at school while a new one was found.
She said: “I don’t think they knew that what they were doing was as horrible as it was. It wasn’t a joke, it really hurt and it felt like it was my fault.
“Counselling helped me realise it wasn’t, but I found it hard to trust people after that.”
Joelle said it was music that had helped her recover.
“I wrote some very dark songs due to everything I was going through,” she said. “I had to have counselling. I’m a Christian and a very spiritual person, but I felt so alone, like I had no one.
“Music was the only thing that helped me. I sang day and night. The new school I went to encouraged my singing. They’d even encourage me to sing in science classes.”
Staff and classmates urged Joelle to audition for the X Factor but it didn’t prove a passport to success.
She said: “I felt I had to do it and then when they crushed me and showed me the back door, I just wanted to improve.
“But I learnt so much and it was the point at which my parents started to believe in me.”
Since then Joelle, who is studying at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, has made demo tapes for producers keen to sell a song to a certain artist.
She said: “I trained myself to sound like Kylie. I did a lot of Leona Lewis and Toni Braxton.
“I realised I was really good at being these other artists. I was a tribute act for Whitney Houston and Tina Turner – on the same nights as well.
“We did about 22 concerts in Germany in front of about 10,000 people. I loved it.”
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Posted By: UnMe2gether |
4/09/13 2:56 PM
How could an entire school blame a girl for being raped and her rapist getting into trouble.The unreal injustice of the school she went to is just maddening.At least she switched schools and had the acceptance of all her new classmates