Irish singer Sinead O'Connor says mother delighted in torturing her
Irish singer Sinead O'Connor has accused her own mother of sexually abusing her as a child inside a torture chamber.
The 50-year-old Nothing Compares 2 U singer made the claim in an interview with US celebrity psychologist Dr Phil McGraw.
It was her first interview since O'Connor was hospitalised following her latest mental breakdown in August.
She claims that her mental health issues began as a result of the physical and sexual abuse she was forced to endure in her younger years.
She told Dr Phil that her mother was "not well". She said she believed her mother was possessed, "although I'm not sure I believe in such things".
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"She ran a torture chamber, it was a torture chamber. She was a person who would smile and delight when she was hurting you," she said.
O'Connor also claimed that her mother would make her repeat over and over again, "I am nothing, I am nothing" while beating her. At the age of 13, O'Connor said she ran away from home to get away from the abuse.
But the scars remained. Fans feared for her wellbeing after she posted a near 13-minute video on Facebook in August, where she claimed to have been abandoned by her loved ones.
She said she had been writing angry letters and letters of desperation to her family.
"I don't want to make out like I'm a victim here, I give it as good as I get. I thought it might be better if my family, if they saw how I'm feeling, they would relate to it," she said.
"It's not easy for families of mentally ill people. We can be difficult."
O'Connor has since been treated by medical professionals, and during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week, guest Dr Phil said O'Connor had contacted him for help.
The interview airs in the US today.
Where to get help
Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day.
Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Alcohol Drug Help (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).
Where to get help, sexual violence
Rape Crisis - 0800 88 33 00 (24hr service), click link for information on local helplines
Victim Support - 0800 842 846 (24hr service)
The Harbour, online support and information for people affected by sexual abuse
Women's Refuge (Females only) - crisis line available on 0800 733 843
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust (Males only), Helplines across NZ, click to find out more
If you are in danger, or are being subjected to sexual violence, call 111.