The Cranberries singer Dolores O'riordan has spoken out for the first time about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. The musician reveals she was regularly molested by the same man for four years between the ages of eight and 12 after her family moved to a new area in Limerick, Ireland.
Breaking her silence on her childhood nightmare, she says, "For four years when I was a little girl, I was sexually abused. We moved into a busy housing estate when I was seven. There were tonnes of people around all the time.
"My mother worked a lot to pay the bills and my father (who was left brain damaged after a road accident in the 1960s) was oblivious to it."
The 42 year old reveals she only told her mother about the abuse eight years ago and never revealed her secret to her father before he died in 2011, but she feels that speaking out about her trauma will now finally help her move on.
In an interview with Ireland's Life magazine, she adds, "I see this as cleansing. It is a way of emptying that closet - no more skeletons. Just peace and healing. No baggage. There is a great sense of a great burden off my shoulders.
"I feel it is going to help me by opening up and just confessing to all of those people who bought my albums, and that love me and come to my gigs and all those fans.
"If I tell them that this happened to me and they still love me, that is going to make me feel good about myself."
The Cranberries singer Dolores O'riordan is to join Irish talent show The Voice as a judge. The Linger singer will take her place in the show's vacant spinning red chair alongside former Westlife star Kian Egan, Jamelia and Bressie when the new season of the show begins later this autumn (13).
Announcing the news on Friday (04Oct13), O'Riordan said, "It's great to be back in Ireland and to be taking part in one of Ireland's most popular TV shows at same time. I know a good voice when I hear one and I am out to find the best star in the country."
The singer replaces The Corrs star Sharon Corr on the panel - she has stepped down as a judge on The Voice after two seasons to concentrate on her music career.
It was previously reported that R&B star Jamelia would also be departing the show after winning the most recent season with singer Keith Hanley, but she has opted to return.