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When Zara McDermott soaked up the sun at the Love Island Villa in 2018, she knew her moment in the spotlight had finally come

But cut off from the outside world, the 21-year-old didn’t know she was making waves for another reason, and a storm was brewing at home – nude snaps she’d sent to an ex had leaked online and from been viewed millions

The heinous betrayal by a “trusted” partner she found out about upon leaving the mansion not only marred her experience on the ITV show, but also brought back terrible memories of a similar incident at age 14 that ruined her teenage years and went her suicide

Zara, who was relentlessly bullied at her Essex school, gave in to pressure from a popular boy and sent him a nude picture after telling her, “It will make me like you more”

The next day, the selfie that snapped in her bathroom had been shared in school and beyond, putting her in a spiral of self-loathing, depression, and long-lasting harm

In an exclusive interview before her new BBC3 documentary Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn, she told The Sun: “It’s been ten years of pain

“It affects me to this day and I don’t think it will ever go away. I was so scarred from that experience”

Zara – who had never kissed a boy at the time – vividly remembers going to school the next day and seeing classmates giggling in corners

Zara, now 24, recalled, “My acting teacher saw it and said,” I didn’t think she was such a girl “That still hurts. I could barely look her in the eye for the next four years

“You want older and experienced people like teachers to be compassionate. There was no pity for me

“They were so embarrassed about my behavior that they didn’t want me in school. Do you know what that does to a young girl?”

While Zara was shunned at school, strangers would abuse her on the street, calling her a “slag” and “disgusting”

Her mother Karen remembers the mother of a classmate who knocked on the door and told her to be ashamed of allowing her daughter to take intimate pictures and send them to a boy

She said, “It’s a pretty small church and a lot of people knew what had happened. We’d look around and think,” How many people saw this picture? “

She said, “There have been a few instances where I’ve been seriously thinking about ending it all and I’ve been looking for ways to do it

“My life was unbearable. The idea of ​​not living anymore was better than having to deal with the pain I went through every day

At the time, Zara felt that her father Alan almost turned his back on her. She said, “I can’t tell you this feeling to realize that your family is ashamed of you. It was so embarrassing that I wanted to die ”

In an emotional scene in the documentary, Zara’s parents finally reveal the devastation they felt when they saw their daughter be injured

Karen says to Zara through tears: “We still have pain when we talk about it, but I was never ashamed of you

Zara, who has also appeared in Made In Chelsea, said talking to her parents for the documentary was the part she was most nervous about and revealed that she avoided it before filming with them speak because she wanted the emotions to be fresh and raw

She said, “I’m glad I did because it really shows how upset my mom was. Plus, I’d never heard my dad say anything about what had happened, that’s why it was important to hold onto this rawness It shows how badly families are affected ”

Her life only went on when she received an apprenticeship in the civil service at the age of 18 and rose to become a policy advisor in the Ministry of Education

After her relationship with her boyfriend ended, Zara was told to go to Love Island

She said, “I almost didn’t go on the show because I was so in love with this guy. He was a lawyer, he was older than me, he was all I wanted

“I thought he was the one, but then he dropped me and got pretty angry. He read between the lines and sent these pictures to his friends before I went to Love Island When I got on the show they started circulating it “

This time the police stepped in and started investigating the leak, even suggesting she should be pulled out of the show but her mother insisted she should stay, arguing that nothing could be achieved if her dreams were made would be destroyed

When Zara found out about the pictures the day after leaving the villa, her reaction was very different from when she was a teenager

She said, “When I first went through depression, anxiety and grief over this loss of innocence

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“This time I was just so mad I was just on this huge show, an incredible opportunity. What gave him the right to share pictures that I sent in confidence? What gave him the right to my body, my intimacy and my privacy? That’s not okay ”

Zara ruled against urgent charges, also because the current law against revenge porn states that prosecutors must prove a perpetrator intended to be embarrassed or distressed

She said, “I had no evidence of intent to cause distress, and this part of the law makes me angry. You are missing out on a large portion of the sacrifices because hardship may or may not be caused, so part of the law must be revised ”

Zara announced that she had contacted reality tv personality Georgia Harrison and called her to prosecute after her ex Stephen Bear was accused of posting a sex tape of the couple late last year / p>

She said, “I was horrified. It’s despicable and I felt so horrible for Georgia. I wanted to give my advice”

For the documentary, Zara spoke to schoolgirls who say they are constantly harassed by boys their age for nude photography – but she says it is naive to tell teenagers not to send them

She continued, “I don’t think it’s realistic to wave your finger at teenagers and say,” Don’t do that “It’s like telling teenagers,” Don’t have sex “

“We all know they will. We will never stop young people from sending pictures So why not teach them how to sextate safely? Things like making your pictures anonymous, making sure there are no visible body markings or tattoos, not having your face in the picture, not taking a picture against an easily recognizable background ”

Zara overcame her trauma to become a reality TV star and model signed by top agency Storm, and she has a happy relationship with Sam Thompson of Made In Chelsea that she owns “Rock” calls it

She said, “The best thing you can do for teenagers is to give them a tool like this documentary and say,” These are the risks you are taking, look what this girl has been through “

“The police must also put the perpetrators in schools and colleges under pressure, as the victims often see no reason to report this. They have to make an example out of a few people”

Following Zara’s revelations, her school, The Coopers ‘Company and Coborn School in Upminster, Essex, issued a statement: “The Coopers’ Coborn executive team is sad to hear of Zara’s experience

“We can clearly outline that the situation (today) would be handled very differently”

While Zara believes the mood has changed slightly since she was a teenager, she says she’ll never forget how alone she felt at 14

She added, “I wish someone had told me it wasn’t my fault because that would have changed everything

“I didn’t feel like I had someone who understood what I was going through. I never want to go back – because it’s the loneliest place on earth”

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Zara McDermott

World News – FI – Zara McDermott was called a slut after the boy leaked a nude photo of her when he was 14

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/14062462/zara-mcdermott-called-slut-disgusting-naked-photo-14-2/