Zara McDermott has claimed that she was “almost raped” by a boy who appeared to be wearing a school uniform.
McDermott, 24, said she was sexually assaulted in broad daylight four years ago by someone with a “really freckly face, a really boyish face”.
“The guy followed me from the high street. It felt like he was from school because I felt like I could see a uniform,” she said.
“He was getting closer and closer and that’s when I started to feel a little bit scared. I could hear him shouting things at me.”
The boy then pinned her against a fence, but McDermott was able to get away after onlookers intervened. She reported the assault to the police but her attacker was never identified.
“I was just so shocked at how forceful he was considering he was like, he couldn’t even have been 15,” she added.
The incident took place before McDermott appeared on Love Island. She then went on to join the Made in Chelsea cast, but quit early this year.
She has since fronted two BBC documentaries, including one about revenge porn and another about sexism in school. McDermott has received widespread praise for bringing attention to these issues.
Her latest documentary comes after thousands of anonymous testimonies from schoolgirls detailing sexual harassment at school exploded online in April, leading to an emergency Ofsted report.
The report found that sexual harassment, including online sexual abuse, had become “normalised” for children and young people, and called for more action to address the matter.
In the upcoming BBC documentary, McDermott speaks to pupils in both state and private schools to “understand first-hand how these toxic behaviours happen”, and meets young women who have been assaulted or raped by pupils at their school.
Zara McDermott Uncovers: Rape Culture will air on BBC Three on Wednesday 24 November.