Patrice Evra has revealed in his new autobiography that he was sexually abused by a school teacher as a child.
The former Manchester United defender and France international describes how the man abused his position of power while a 13-year-old Evra was staying at his house.
He also travelled to Paris two weeks ago to tell his mother. “Of course, she was devastated,” he told The Times in an exclusive interview. “It was a tough moment for me. I have still to tell a few of my brothers and sisters and close friends.
“I don’t want people to feel pity. It’s a difficult situation. A mother does not expect to hear this from their own child. She felt something [was wrong] and had asked me why I did not want to sleep in the teacher’s house. Only now when I am 40 years old do I tell her. It was a big shock for her. A lot of anger. She said she was sorry. She said: ‘You must not put it in your book, it’s private Patrice,’ but that’s when I say, mum, it’s not about me, it’s about other kids then she says OK, she understands.”
“I know the book will mean people will change their view of me, but I am more than happy to talk with people. I am a better version of myself. My friends will say, ‘oh the world will react, think of the pressure,’ but the biggest pressure is to say it to my mum. Even thinking about it now, it’s hard.
“The first thing my mum says is, ‘if you don’t sue him, I’ll sue him. If he’s still alive, I’m going to kill him.’ There is a lot of rage. I know my mum and people from my family will do research and see if they can sue. But I buried this thing so deep I didn’t think about [prosecution].”
Evra said he was approached by the police when he was 24, while playing for Monaco, while the teacher faced allegations of abuse, but was in denial and did not reveal his experiences, something he would later regret. The only person he confided in was his fiancee, Margaux Alexandra, whom he describes as “my soulmate, even my psychologist”.
In an extract of the book – which is called I Love this Game and will be released later this month – published by The Times, Evra describes the abuse at the hands of the teacher. “I would get butterflies in my stomach when I was due to sleep over as the end of the school day drew near. It couldn’t go on, and after a few months I told my mum that I didn’t want to stay with him any longer. I didn’t give any reason. By that time, my would-be abuser had become tired of the situation. I was a fighter; I was not going to give in. He didn’t even ask why I was leaving. He knew.
“On the last night at that man’s house, when he knew that I was going back to my family, he finally succeeded. He put my penis in his mouth.”
He adds: “If you are a child reading this and you are being abused, you must talk. Don’t carry your shame because there is no shame. Deal with your nightmare by talking about it. I look at my own son and think, ‘If something happens, I hope he would tell me.’ A lot of shit things happened in my childhood. The people I know and love will read this and I don’t want to put them through more pain, but it’s important that I tell my story honestly. I’m 40 years old and telling the truth.”
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