Ira Losco, Malta’s most famous singer, has opened up about how she was sexually assaulted by a stranger while on tour in Australia ten years ago.
“I was doing session vocals and guitar for Tribali in Australia’s Blues and Roots Festival,” Ira recounted on her Instagram stories last night. “I was the only girl, so I was given a larger room to accommodate all of the band’s instruments. The band would come almost one by one to collect their instruments before gigs and I would open, let them in, and they would leave.”
“A particular man who was staying on the same floor seems to have concluded that I was some sort of call girl. On one particular day I took the lift alone and he came running to it just before it closed. Inside the lift his hand went straight down there and I just froze.”
“The feeling of sheer desperation, fear and disgust rolled into one overtook me. I just started shouting and told him I wasn’t what he thought I was. He panicked and fled as soon as the lift opened up. I ran out of the lift and went straight to the band.”
“I couldn’t even explain myself to them. They couldn’t understand till I finally managed to string a sentence together. I felt so humiliated.”
Ira said she wants to raise awareness about the danger of sexual predators, and in fact this recount follows another shocking incident she opened up about earlier this month.
In a video for Tech.mt, as part of a campaign by the national tech promoter on the dangers of social media, Ira recounted how when she was 19 years old, a stranger had called her up to ask if she wants a free photoshoot.
She caught a bus to his studio in Qawra and took a seat, when to her horror, the photographer explained exactly what kind of photoshoot he was after.
“He brought out his album to show me what kind of photos he takes, and they were all of naked women or posing suggestively. I freaked out, I don’t even know what I said or did but I somehow managed to invent an excuse to leave and I ran out.”
“I didn’t stop at the bus stage but ran until I found a bus stage further away.”
Several years later, the same photographer left a written note on Ira’s car windscreen, reminding her of his original offer, telling her he’s now working as a masseur and asking her if she wants a free massage.
Shamelessly, he even included his phone number in the note.
“I wondered if he was even serious; I mean look at the kind of people that exist,” Ira said. “What a predator. First he acted as a photographer and now became a masseur so he can definitely touch bodies of women or men who he wants to abuse.”
“I think my mistake was not reporting him to the authorities. I don’t know why I didn’t, but I think it was something between shock and disbelief. I could have damaged him a lot if I wanted to, but he still wasn’t afraid of me.”
Cover photos: Ira Losco (Facebook/Instagram)
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