Samantha Morton speaks out about abuse in care

AWARD-winning actress Samantha Morton has spoken out for the first time about sexual abuse she ­suffered while in care as a teenager.
Police have discussed claims with Morton. Picture: PAPolice have discussed claims with Morton. Picture: PA
Police have discussed claims with Morton. Picture: PA

The Bafta and Golden Globe winner told how she was aged 13 when she reported abuse by two men, both residential care workers in Nottingham, to police and social services but neither authority ­formally investigated.

Speaking to a newspaper yesterday, she said she ­decided to waive her right to anonymity in the wake of a report detailing sexual ­exploitation of 1,400 ­children over a period of 16 years in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

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The 37-year-old said she fears the issue is more widespread, calling for investigations in other ­places, including in her home town.

“I just wanted to go ­public with this, to say, we know it’s rife but why are there not further investigations into other areas? It isn’t just Rotherham, I’m sure it’s not just Rotherham,” she told the paper.

“There was no support, no offer of counselling, no wanting to delve deeper… Maybe they just assumed I had been abused already, or was being, anyway. A lot of people who abused my friends were people in very, very top jobs within the social services. Nottingham in the Eighties was rife with that.”

The actress revealed she had recently spoken to Nottinghamshire Police about her original ­complaint and was told the report contained only a ­reference to “frolicking” and no sexual abuse.

Nottinghamshire Police Superintendent Helen Chamberlain told the paper she had spoken to Morton about the allegations but they had not amounted to a criminal offence and the actress had not reported them as one.

Meanwhile a Nottinghamshire County Council spokesman said they were hoping to speak to Morton. There are a number of children’s homes under investigation by Nottinghamshire County Council following allegations of historical abuse.

Morton, who has been twice nominated for an Oscar, was taken into care as a baby. She spent most her of her childhood in and out of children’s homes and foster care.

She said the incident in Nottingham involved two male members of staff who came into her bedroom at night, removed her clothes and abused her.

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In 2009 Morton backed a government campaign to recruit social workers in the wake of the Baby P scandal. Speaking then Morton said she experienced some “wonderful” social workers who supported her and helped her realise her ambitions.