Zara McDermott’s boyfriend Sam Thompson reveals he saw leaked nude images a year before they met

Zara McDermott discussed her revenge porn hell with her boyfriend Sam Thompson in her new BBC documentary about her ordeal and the crime

The reality star, 24, spoke to Made In Chelsea‘s Sam, 28, on the show, which was released on Tuesday, as he revealed he had been sent the widely-circulated images while she was in the Love Island villa in 2018 – a year before they met. 

The documentary sheds light on Zara’s two experiences with revenge porn, after explicit images were taken and leaked when she was both 14 and 21, with Sam admitting he thought she’d be ‘more clued up’ the second time. 

Zara has been shooting the show for over a year and has been campaigning relentlessly to tighten laws on the crime of image-based sexual abuse, which is the sharing of private, sexual materials of another person without their consent.

Heartache: Zara McDermott discussed her revenge porn hell with her boyfriend Sam Thompson in her new BBC documentary about her ordeal and the crime

Heartache: Zara McDermott discussed her revenge porn hell with her boyfriend Sam Thompson in her new BBC documentary about her ordeal and the crime

Heartache: Zara McDermott discussed her revenge porn hell with her boyfriend Sam Thompson in her new BBC documentary about her ordeal and the crime

When she was just 14, having never kissed a boy, she was pressured into sending a classmate a naked image which went viral both in her school and her local area, with news of the image leading to suspension and her parents finding out. 

While she has intricately discussed the agony of the teen suffering, when she went on Love Island – with no communication with the outside world – trouble was brewing outside as somebody she dated leaked fresh images. 

After leaving the villa and being informed of the scandal by an ITV press officer, she was reliving what she had experienced seven years before. 

She said: ‘I can’t even tell you the feeling, feeling like your parents are ashamed of you. How will they look at me the same ever again? It was so embarrassing. I just wanted to die.’

Pained: The reality star, 24, spoke to Made In Chelsea's Sam, 28, on the show, which was released on Tuesday, as he revealed he had been sent the widely-circulated images while she was in the Love Island villa in 2018 - a year before they met

Pained: The reality star, 24, spoke to Made In Chelsea's Sam, 28, on the show, which was released on Tuesday, as he revealed he had been sent the widely-circulated images while she was in the Love Island villa in 2018 - a year before they met

Pained: The reality star, 24, spoke to Made In Chelsea’s Sam, 28, on the show, which was released on Tuesday, as he revealed he had been sent the widely-circulated images while she was in the Love Island villa in 2018 – a year before they met

Shocking: The documentary sheds light on Zara's two experiences with revenge porn, after explicit images were taken and leaked when she was both 14 and 21, with Sam admitting he thought she'd be 'more clued up' the second time

Shocking: The documentary sheds light on Zara's two experiences with revenge porn, after explicit images were taken and leaked when she was both 14 and 21, with Sam admitting he thought she'd be 'more clued up' the second time

Shocking: The documentary sheds light on Zara’s two experiences with revenge porn, after explicit images were taken and leaked when she was both 14 and 21, with Sam admitting he thought she’d be ‘more clued up’ the second time

Zara met Sam the following year and admitted she was concerned on their first date that he had seen the pictures, which he admitted he had been sent. 

She said: ‘Every time I walk into a room and met someone new, I wondered have they seen the images? This happened when I first met Sam.’

Speaking to Sam, she admitted she was reserved on their first date as he stated she ‘had arms crossed and didn’t want to speak’.

She said: ‘I was like does he know? Does he think less of me?’, he then confessed: ‘I’d already seen photos without knowing it was Zara, it had surfaced on a WhatsApp group I was on. I didn’t know it was her until she mentioned it.’

Zara went on: ‘It bugs me that his friends were forwarding images of me to his group chat. I don’t actually know who it was. I don’t want to think about it.’

Pained: Zara met Sam the following year and admitted she was concerned on their first date that he had seen the pictures, which he admitted he had been sent

Pained: Zara met Sam the following year and admitted she was concerned on their first date that he had seen the pictures, which he admitted he had been sent

Pained: Zara met Sam the following year and admitted she was concerned on their first date that he had seen the pictures, which he admitted he had been sent

Scared: Speaking to Sam, she admitted she was reserved on their first date as he stated she 'had arms crossed and didn't want to speak'

Scared: Speaking to Sam, she admitted she was reserved on their first date as he stated she 'had arms crossed and didn't want to speak'

Scared: Speaking to Sam, she admitted she was reserved on their first date as he stated she ‘had arms crossed and didn’t want to speak’

Sam went on: ‘I saw the photo and no one actually thinks, wow I wonder what it’s like to be in that person’s shoes. I feel so bad, no one’s that empathetic.’ 

Later in the show, he gushed: ‘She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She always thinks of me first. I don’t know what she carries inside but I know she’s insecure’, while Zara said: ‘It’s made you more guarded and fearful of rejection.’

The couple then engaged in a conversation about whether she should have sent the images at 21, having previously gone through the hell of leaked shots. 

Zara said: ‘I think a lot of people would say what happened when you were 14 has clearly scarred you so much so why would you make the same mistake…

Opening up: Sam countered: 'Yes, you're totally correct but I thought you'd have been more wised up. Yes I know it's your body and I can do what I will but you know what the consequences could be'

Opening up: Sam countered: 'Yes, you're totally correct but I thought you'd have been more wised up. Yes I know it's your body and I can do what I will but you know what the consequences could be'

Opening up: Sam countered: ‘Yes, you’re totally correct but I thought you’d have been more wised up. Yes I know it’s your body and I can do what I will but you know what the consequences could be’

Heartache: #

Heartache: #

Heartache: She was left devastated aged both 14 and 21

What is revenge porn?

Revenge Porn – or Image-based sexual abuse – is the sharing of private, sexual materials of another person without their consent 

Sharing with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress to the individual pictured  

The offence can be both on and offline and applies to electronically shared images or showing someone a physical image

 

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‘My response is its not a mistake sending an image is not a mistake its my body. I’m not breaking the law by sending an image’. 

Sam countered: ‘Yes, you’re totally correct but I thought you’d have been more wised up. Yes I know it’s your body and I can do what I will but you know what the consequences could be.’

Defending the thoughts behind her action, she said: ‘I think a lot of the time it’s happened to people who have been in really long term relationships’. 

Sam went on: ‘Yeah that’s different. I’m talking about two dates down the line with a bloke you hardly really know…

‘If you’re not aware enough to know there are people like that in the world then you’re the one that loses out and it’s not fair and its not right and it is against the law.’

Zara then insisted: ‘Well we’ll agree to disagree on that one.’ 

Awful: Speaking about the impact of the documentary, she said: 'I want people to feel empowered from this documentary and know they’re not alone, so many other people have been through this;

Awful: Speaking about the impact of the documentary, she said: 'I want people to feel empowered from this documentary and know they’re not alone, so many other people have been through this;

Awful: Speaking about the impact of the documentary, she said: ‘I want people to feel empowered from this documentary and know they’re not alone, so many other people have been through this;

Speaking about the impact of the documentary, she said: ‘I want people to feel empowered from this documentary and know they’re not alone, so many other people have been through this…

‘I want victims to have better support. I want people to be able to start speaking about this topic openly and there to be a lot less emphasis placed on the victim in terms of ownership and accountability.’ 

Of the show, Fiona Campbell, the Controller at BBC Three, said: ‘We’re grateful to Zara for sharing her story with us and hope it will make a difference to young lives around the UK.’ 

For help and support or more information, you can call Refuge’s Freephone 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for free, confidential specialist support or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.  

Zara McDermott: Revenge Porn is on BBC iPlayer now