Katie Waissel has claimed she was sexually assaulted by somebody on the X Factor team, years after appearing on the show.
The singer, 35, who entered the talent contest in 2010, alleged the incident happened in the US when she met the person to talk about recording work.
Waiving her right to anonymity, Katie told The Sun: ‘I can still smell him. I was paralysed with shock. All I could think was, “How am I going to leave this room?”
‘I was a victim’: Katie Waissel has claimed that she was sexually assaulted by somebody on the X Factor team, years after appearing on the show (pictured in 2016)
‘I was a victim but I wouldn’t allow myself to recognise just how terrible it had been.’
The publication also claimed the alleged assault happened at a luxury hotel and Katie detailed why she’s not talked about it before.
She said: ‘I’ve never spoken before as I thought I’d be blacklisted and never work again.’
Katie added that she decided not to make a formal complaint at the time as she was pregnant, but that she feels being ‘focused on success’ after the X Factor made her ‘vulnerable’.
Claims: The singer, 35, who entered the talent contest in 2010, alleged that the incident happened in the US when she met the person to talk about recording work (pictured in 2010)
The singer said if she could change the past, she would never have appeared on the singing contest in 2010.
A spokesperson for Syco Entertainment said: ‘We were made aware via the media of Katie’s claims in Autumn 2017 and we immediately contacted her and began an investigation.
‘We were naturally shocked at the allegations and wanted to do anything we could to help – so we asked her to lodge a complaint with us and detail the allegations for that purpose. In the interim we suspended the accused.
‘Despite a number of requests to Katie asking her to detail the claims to us, she chose not to make a complaint over his behaviour. As a result, and without other evidence to the contrary, we were obliged to accept his denial of the claims.
Speaking out: Katie added that she decided not to make a formal complaint at the time, but that she feels being ‘focussed on success’ after the X Factor made her ‘vulnerable’
‘We, of course, remain ready and keen to investigate her claims if she so chooses to detail them to us and even though the alleged perpetrator no longer works for either Syco or Sony Music.’
Katie has spoken candidly in recent months about her time on the X Factor and recently told how appearing on the show left her feeling suicidal and she is still receiving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] therapy.
The singer has joined a host of former competitors, including Chico Slimane, Cher Lloyd, Jedward and Rebecca Ferguson, who have spoken about the ‘abuse’ they suffered while on the show.
Katie insisted she ‘can’t stay silent’ on the matter because people’s careers have been shattered and she claims many are still having counselling.
Speaking to Closer magazine, she said: ‘We all had to go through media training – almost a type of brainwash – ensuring we never said a bad word about the show or those that worked on or alongside it.
Candid: Katie recently told how appearing on the X Factor left her feeling suicidal and she is still receiving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] therapy
‘But how can we stay silent when future careers were shattered, and past contestants, myself included, are still undertaking therapy for PTSD caused by this show?
‘I had experienced such a low point when I was trying to rebuild my life, that I had frighteningly found myself contemplating suicide.’
Katie previously moved to the US after being shaken by death threats and cruel messages from vile online trolls. Now back in the UK, she has opened up on her time on the show and the way she found it behind the scenes.
An X Factor spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Duty of care to our contestants is of the utmost importance to us. We take welfare very seriously and have measures in place to ensure that they are supported.
Recently, X Factor icon Chico Slimane claimed the show ‘uses and abuses you’ and is only interested in making ‘money’ from contestants.
Speaking out: Chico Slimane recently claimed the show ‘uses and abuses you’ and is only interested in making ‘money’ from contestants (pictured on the X Factor in 2005)
The singer, 50, who appeared in the second series of the ITV singing show back in 2005, said the people behind the show ‘don’t care about you’ and that artists are a ‘commodity’ to them.
He said: ‘You’re a commodity, you are as good as the money you’re going to make them. That is it. You are completely replaceable and as I said it’s a conveyor belt. if you’re not going to do it, someone else will take your place to do it.’
Speaking on Late night with Cristo on talkRADIO, the former goat herder who now runs a wellness retreat in Portugal told that although the show gave him a ‘platform’ to do other things, he believes singers are ‘naive’ for thinking they’d have long careers in the music industry.
A host of other former contestants have spoken out about facing ‘abuse’ during and straight after their time on the talent show.
X Factor contestant Lloyd Daniels admitted he felt pressured to hide a same-sex relationship while competing on the show in 2009.
Speaking out: Fellow X Factor alum Rebecca Ferguson has demanded a parliamentary inquiry into the music industry
Claims: A source has said that ‘momentum is gathering’ and others are ‘finding confidence to tell their stories’ in the wake of Jedward (pictured) and Cher Lloyd’s allegations
While Jahmene Douglas, who was runner up in 2012, also claimed people in the industry ‘close doors’ to make room for others despite their levels of talent.
And fellow alum Rebecca Ferguson has demanded a parliamentary inquiry into the music industry and called for greater regulation to protect artists from ‘bullying’ agents and managers.
Former contestants Jedward also blasted Simon Cowell in a stunning tirade, claiming he sees himself as the ‘mafia leader’ of the music industry and said they regretted not telling the judges to ‘f**k off’ while on the ITV show.
Meanwhile, Cher Lloyd accused bosses of taking advantage of her naivety and exploiting her. Cher, who finished fourth in the 2010 edition of X Factor, claimed she was ‘sold a dream’ when appearing on the show at 17, before being exploited.
The now-27-year-old made the claims in a TikTok video, singing in a virtual duet: ‘How could I be so naive? They sold me the dream just to exploit me.’
Former contestant: Cher Lloyd claimed in a TikTok video on Wednesday that she was ‘sold a dream’ when appearing on the show at 17, before being exploited
And while many have spoken about their negative experience on the show, Honey G defended Simon and ITV producers.
The singer, who appeared on the show in 2016, insisted she wasn’t ‘used or exploited’ and she built a ‘strong relationship’ with bosses, adding that her experience was ‘very very positive.’
Honey G, whose real name is Anna Gilford, told Metro she has no regrets about taking part in the X Factor, and she was given access to dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) while on the show.
The singer, who came out as gay in 2017, added that she never felt pressured to hide her sexuality or publicly come out by bosses.
She said: ‘I have to jump to Simon Cowell’s defence in this instance because I really can’t fault the duty of care that they had. My experience was very, very positive and I think they were lovely people. It was completely life-changing.’
For confidential support call Rape Crisis England & Wales on 0808 802 9999 or visit rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help for more details
For a full list of support centres, please visit: gov.uk/sexualabusesupport
‘My experience was very very positive’: Honey G has defended Simon and ITV producers after a slew of former contestants slammed the show