Comedian Connolly reveals sex abuse

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The Independent Online

Billy Connolly, the Glasgow-born comedian, revealed yesterday how he was sexually abused by his father as a child.

Connolly spoke out in a biography written by his wife, Pamela Stephenson – a trained psychologist and fellow comedian – which is being serialised in a Sunday newspaper.

The comic disclosed how his childhood was scarred by a father who frequently "interfered with him" and an aunt who subjected him to violent physical and verbal attacks.

Now aged 59, Connolly described how he was abandoned by his mother when he was three and his sister, Florence, was five. Taken in by two aunts, he grew up in an overcrowded flat where he had to share a bed with his father, who often came home drunk and molested him over a period of about five years from the age of 10.

Connolly said he was only able to confront his "dark secret" by telling his wife when his father, William, died in 1989.

Describing how he was haunted by a sense that his father had been disloyal, he added: "I love his memory now as much as I loved him when he was alive. It was disloyal of him to do that to me. But there were other facets of his character that were great.

"But still, I kept thinking if I'm troubled by this I need someone to tell me how to get rid of this great weight."