Welsh singer Duffy reveals the tragic reason why she disappeared for years

Duffy (real name Aimee Ann Duffy) ,

When Amy Winehouse released Back to Black in 2006, it really did change the music landscape. Suddenly, “blue-eyed soul” came back in a big way, and you can draw a very clear line from Winehouse to Adele to Sam Smith. That line should always include Duffy, whose 2008 EP/album, Rockferry, was one of the best of that era. Some of the hits and amazing songs from Rockferry: “Mercy,” “Stepping Stone,” and “Warwick Avenue.” I loved her music and I loved her voice so much. After a few years, it felt like Duffy disappeared. There was random gossip and blind items about her disappearance from public view. Well, Duffy is now taking the first steps towards telling her story. She posted this on her Instagram:

You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter. Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it.

Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak. The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine.

You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke. In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview. If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that

x Duffy

Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.

[From Duffy’s Instagram]

This is devastating. This poor woman. She survived a horrendous ordeal and took time away from everything to recover. I hope people do give her space and time and I really and truly hope that there are no journalists trying to discover her whereabouts at the moment. Just trust that she will tell her story on her terms, in her own time.


Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram.

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54 Responses to “Welsh singer Duffy reveals the tragic reason why she disappeared for years”

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  1. Samanthalous says:

    This is really sad, I hope she gets the help she needs and they hopefully find the person(s) behind this.

    • Originaltessa says:

      Does she not know who did it? I keep reading articles and I can’t seem to find that part.

      • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

        Maybe she can’t utter it yet.
        I know I find it near-impossible to speak the name of the men who raped and abused me

      • Tash says:

        @ Andrew’s Nemesis – I’m so sorry that happened to you 😢. Sending positive vibes your way.

      • Eleonor says:

        She doesn’t have to tell the name if she doesn’t want to. She must shares what she wants to, and what she is comfortable talking about. I am ok with this
        I remember her, and I often wondered why she wasn’t doing new music, now I know why.

      • Chanteloup says:

        Re: question about does she not know who did this to her -
        Not dissing you, but I think this one of the reasons people say silent, don’t go public – The attention immediately goes to dissecting how she reported it. Maybe the judicial [not justice - there is no justice] system is one of the horrors she went through when this happened? [what, 10 or 12 years ago?] Or not. It’s up to her.

        This is about her putting the pieces of her life back together that were violently taken from her, in whatever way works best for her. Not dragging some hideous villain out for everyone to stare at. That’s not her job. [Unless she wants to.]

        Peace and love to all, especially survivors today.

      • Originaltessa says:

        I was just wondering if the perpetrator got away, or if they know who did it. I wasn’t making any judgment at all whatsoever. Literally just wondered if I missed something.

      • Bettyrose says:

        It sounded more to me like an acquaintance..an angry ex boyfriend? If she’d been kidnapped and reported missing, it would likely have been a news story. My sense is she willing went with someone she knew and then things turned ugly, but her family didn’t know she was gone against her will.

        Please don’t accuse me of victim shaming. This is horrifying. I’m just speculating that it’s easier and more common for an acquaintance to do something this monstrous. And I’m sorry I don’t even want to be speculating but it was hard not to think about after story broke last night.

      • lucy2 says:

        I thought the same thing Bettyrose, if this person had been a stranger or something and had been caught, there likely would have been a news story.
        I don’t want to speculate too much either, it’s up to her to determine how much she wants people to know, but you weren’t alone in wondering that.

      • LA says:

        No news stories coming up doesn’t necessarily mean that it hasn’t been dealt with in the courts nor that there was no reporting at the time. Victims of sex crimes have anonymity so the case could have gone through the courts system, been reported in the press and come to a conclusion without anyone knowing it was in regards to Duffy. Because of her high profile at the time there may have been more stringent reporting restrictions applied to further ensure her anonymity. The perpetrator may be in jail and may have been there for quite some time by now, considering the time-frame.

      • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

        @Tash Thank you. Hugs. Am in therapy but it’s desperately hard.

  2. lana86 says:

    Goodness, I hope the person who did it is in jail…

    • Polyanna says:

      Me too! Someone took her own life away for a small amount of sadistic pleasure. That is just evil.
      I can’t believe this. It’s really horrible. Abusers are animals, and the people they leave in their wake are left to fight tooth and nail just to get back to feeling normal and safe again.

      I love her song Warwick Avenue. I’ve hummed it to myself for years. And now I know why she disappeared and it’s just so sad.

  3. Betsy says:

    I read this last night and was absolutely horrified by what happened to her. I hope she gets justice.

  4. Karen says:

    Thoughts go out to her, and may she find the strength to share music again one day when she’s ready. Hopefully there is/will be justice for the piece of filth who did this to her.

  5. Abby says:

    That is awful!! I used to love her music. She was right there with Winehouse and Adele! There was a season where her hairstyle was inspiration for me—I used to take her photo to my stylist to show him how I wanted my hair to look.

    I’m so sad she went through that ordeal. I hope there’s justice for her and healing.

  6. Mia4s says:

    I’ve got to give some props to the journalist who contacted her last summer and was told everything…and appears to have refrained from publishing and let her speak in her own time? I’m terribly sad for her of course, but what a world that I’m more shocked by that than by yet another woman being subjected to sexual violence. 😔

  7. Snazzy says:

    I had wondered why she had disappeared, I did love her sound (Mercy is a great song). I can’t even imagine going through what she did but it sounds like she is on the path to finding some kind of peace. I hope she gets there happily and safely.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    Oh my God, how horrible. My heart breaks for her.
    I’m glad it feels good for her to talk about it, it has to be incredibly difficult, but if it’s giving her strength to share her story, more power to her. I hope people will let her tell it in her own time.

  9. horseandhound says:

    poor woman. what a trauma. I wish her so much happiness. there is something special about her. I have always loved her voice, her songs and her energy.

  10. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    She’s such a gentle, talented soul, and she deserved so much better.
    Women deserve SO much better.

    • Naddie says:

      I was talking about it to a friend yesterday, we deserve so much better than what the world throws at us, at what men do to us. I also read your other comment and I wish you all the best in this life, to infinity and beyond.

      • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

        @Naddie. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, and I wish you the best of joy in life.
        I agree with what you said about women’s conditions the world round. We should not have to grow up with a litany of don’t walk on your own/carry a rape alarm/don’t dress provocatively/be careful of your friends/don’t speak to strangers/don’t leave your drink unattended. Women have internalised these instructions of passivity and don’t hold those who are responsible to account. It’s a stain, a wound on our collective history.
        Wonder if you’ve read this? The female condition is articulated very powerfully https://www.vqronline.org/essays-articles/2014/04/grand-unified-theory-female-pain

    • Jaded says:

      I was raped once and nearly raped a couple of times when I was much younger and trusting. It took me many, many years to get my self-esteem back, because even though I had done no wrong I blamed myself for letting myself get led into a dangerous situation. All that to say it’s like women are in virtual handcuffs ALL.THE.TIME. The male world from perpetrator to legal counsel and police has instilled a fear of public retribution and shaming (she asked for it!) so we won’t say anything. Why should women be in constant fear in this day and age?

      Thank you for posting the link to that article. It says it all.

      • Bella says:

        Because women are still afraid! I live in a major metropolitan city and yesterday something happened on a very crowded bus after work and I am still mad–at myself! A young girl was robbed of her phone by a homeless man and when the door opened i saw that she was crying and I aske dher if she was okand she said yes. The door closed the homeless man got on the bus and said she was on drugs. We (there were lots of women on the bus) continued to look at each other in disbelief. It was only when i was disembarking from the bus when this lady said that the girl had been robbed. I was so mad at myself for not sticking up for that girl. I was furious at myself and angry at that man–and I still am.
        Women are always afraid,

    • Naddie says:

      Andrew’s nemesis: I could never thank you enough for sharing this link. It’s a very intelligent and powerful read.

      Jaded: I hope you keep strong and never forget for a second that the blame is entirely on them.

  11. Naddie says:

    When she suddenly vanished from the media I read something about her leaving the scene because people were being mean to her , i could never imagine the truth. I hope she finds nothing but love and support in life, and comes back to share her talent with us.

  12. Sof says:

    I always wondered what happened to her and was not expecting this at all. The fact that this is something that still happens all around the world, no matter in what kind of society you live in, is horrendous. I’m glad she is no longer in that situation and is healing. Looking forward to hear new music from her, she was super talented.

  13. Chanteloup says:

    I’M SO PROUD OF HER for the thousands and thousands of days she committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in her heart again. It’s so hard when you’re still stuck in that dark and broken place.

    I’m so glad she pulled through.
    All the love, Duffy, and to all survivors.

  14. Middle of the road says:

    It might have been her at the time boyfriend or someone she thought she could trust. I had something happen to a friend where a guy she dated ended up holding her captive a few days and him and his roommate took turns assaulting her. She hasn’t fully recovered although she’s one of the strongest women I know. It’s sad, but a lot of times it’s not strangers who stalk and rape women it’s the men we think we can trust. I hope she releases more music. Writing and just listening to music can be therapeutic for the soul. I hope she continues to be strong.

    • frenchtoast says:

      That’s horrifying. How are we supposed to respect or trust men when we hear stories like this.

      Anytime women talk about it someone tries to #notallmen the conversation but that’s smthg that men are gonna have to deal with if there are a group of men out there who are making men in general look like disgusting monsters. Rape and other types of male violence should’t be our(women) burden to bear, it’s time men take responsibility and pay for their crimes.

  15. Anne says:

    That’s horrible. I loved Duffy. I hope she is doing better now and I hope she goes back to music someday when she is ready. She was wonderful.

  16. Lara says:

    Didn’t her manager or someone similar say she had gone of the rails? Why would he say that against what really happened. How cruel.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Doesn’t speak well of what manager did or didn’t know.

    • lucy2 says:

      There’s a 2018 article basically asking where she went, and it sounds like after her big break, she was exhausted and overwhelmed by the celebrity and touring and everything, and did choose to slow down. In 2014 her then manager did say that, implying she couldn’t handle the stresses of the career.
      Without knowing when this horrible thing happened to her, it’s impossible to know if the events were related or not. But either way, saying she ‘went off the rails” is pretty lousy.

  17. Laura says:

    Slightly off-topic, but this is the first time I’ve heard the term “blue-eyed soul” and it does not sit well with me. I get what it’s saying, white people singing soul music, but it just feels weird to say it like that specifically.

    • Westerner says:

      Blue-eyed soul goes back to the ’60s. It was used to describe the Righteous Brothers. Look up You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling or Unchained Melody and it’s easy to see why.

      My theory, and I could easily be wrong, is that it was a way to distinguish actually soulful white singers from people like Pat Boone who took black music and reprocessed it, without so much as a thank you, for markets that weren’t yet open to black artists.

      • Laura says:

        Hi Westerner, thanks for that theory. I will for sure look it up and do some more research on it to better understand the term. I love music from that time period, and you’re right, there were a lot of artists that were taking hit songs from black musicians and re-recording them in a very empty way. I could understand others not wanting to be grouped into that.

  18. anon says:

    I was in a shop in Madrid when I heard “Mercy” for the first time that summer, and immediately bought the album on itunes, not knowing, or ever having heard of, Duffy.

    You are correct, Kaiser: It’s a *fantastic* album.

    My heart goes out to her and I hope she finds peace and continued healing.

  19. Sass says:

    How horrifying. I’ll be thinking of her.

  20. LivLiv says:

    Makes me so upset to think about all the damage men’s violence inflict on women. The years that was stolen from her.

  21. Ellie says:

    My prayers go out to her. I wish her all the strength and good fortune in the world.

    So often survivors are under so much pressure to speak out immediately and share their story everywhere, but that isn’t always necessary for healing and there can be a lot of exploitation and morbid curiosity from people supposedly “supporting.” I’m glad she did what was best for her.

  22. LoonaticCap says:

    This is so sad. Your favorite songs are mine too and I have a special place in my heart for stepping stone and Warwick avenue… I cried many times listening to it and it makes me sad to see she’s been victimized to this extent.
    I hope she comes back on her own terms and releases more beautiful music. Not necessarily personal. But from the heart.

  23. Amber says:

    I loved Duffy so much and always wondered what happened. My heart breaks for her, what an utterly horrific situation. I hope she is able to make music again someday.

  24. Valerie says:

    Jesus, I thought (hoped) this was fake. I’m glad she’s okay and feels safe enough to come forward now to tell her story.

  25. Tiffany :) says:

    My heart goes out to her. What a terrible thing for anyone to experience. I am glad that it sounds like she is healing, and I hope the public treats her well in the months ahead.

    They way she described her eyes and her broken heart was incredibly moving.

  26. Sue M says:

    I am so sorry Duffy endured such horrific violence. I always wondered what happened to her. She and Adele broke around the same time. And although I love Adele, I thought Duffy was going to be the big star! I hope she is able to do a fabulous come back album at some point. It goes to show, even great success does not protect women from sexual violence.

  27. msd says:

    Her statement was carefully worded but I’ve still seen people online talk about ‘abduction’ which isn’t what she said. It speaks to the narrow view of sexual assault and rape that’s common in society, even now. So many people think rape means a stranger wielding violence when it’s far more likely that an acquaintance will be the perpetrator: a family member, a friend, a colleague, a date, a boyfriend.

  28. CityGirl says:

    I love her song “Mercy” so much and bought the album when it came out….I often wondered what happened to her. I really thought she would take off, musically speaking. I’m so sad to hear what happened to her.

  29. JRenee says:

    Absolutely horrendous story. However long it took for her to regain her voice, her sunshine, good for her. I’ve always thought she was a beautiful woman with a lovely voice. I hope people respect her space as she heals!