'No one else will really know what it was like': Rape survivor recreates her ordeal on camera

She's even playing herself

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Fourteen years ago, Frida Farrell was a young model trying to get her big break as an actress in London.

Tall, blonde, in her early 20s, Frida was used to being approached by men, so she wasn’t surprised when one day she was given a business card by a man called Peter, who said he was a photographer casting for a modelling project.

English, dressed in a suit, in his early 50s, Peter seemed friendly, and after Frida checked out his website, genuine.

So she went along to meet him for a test shoot at a fifth floor flat in Harley Street. Everything was as it should be - there were snacks, tea and coffee on offer as well as a female assistant helping out. 

When Peter called the next day asking if Frida would return for a half-day shoot, from which she’d earn £7,000, she was unsurprisingly keen.

Back to the fancy flat she went, but as soon as she walked through the door, she realised something was wrong - Peter locked the door and pocketed the key.

It was then that Frida’s harrowing three-day ordeal commenced.

Peter got out a knife, ordered her to put on underwear and forced her to drink a glass of milk, which Frida believes was drugged. 

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Dipping in and out of consciousness for three days, Frida remembers waking up in different rooms, practically naked, and being raped by multiple different men who’d been brought to the flat.

Frida was kept captive as a sex slave, and no one knows how long the ordeal would have lasted had she not escaped - when Peter briefly left the flat and forgot to lock the door, Friday made a run for it, sprinting down the elegant Georgian streets of central London before finally getting a taxi to a friend’s house.

She went to the police, but upon hearing she’d voluntarily gone to Peter’s flat, Frida's story was dismissed. Peter was never caught.

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Now, actress Frida has made the brave decision to relive her ordeal in a powerful retelling of her story, new film Selling Isobel. Even more courageous, however, is that Frida herself plays the lead role of Isobel, a young woman who is kidnapped, drugged and raped by random men in a Los Angeles apartment.

According to Frida, the reason she wanted to make the film was to help her get over the ordeal. She also knew she could bring authenticity to the role: “No one else will really know what it was like, so they’ll have to imagine it. I didn’t have that problem,” Frida told Top 10 Films.

She’s also keen to raise awareness about sex trafficking: “I’m really hoping [the film] will a) make people who have been in a similar situation feel confident to come out and talk about it and b) I want them to shed all embarrassment they’re holding onto. They must never blame themselves. It is NEVER the victim’s/survivor's fault.”

Selling Isobel recently won the Indie Award at Britain's biggest independent film event, the Raindance Festival, which was judged by experts and stars including Joanna Lumley and Olivia Colman. 

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