Margo: “I suffered sex attack as
IRISH country star
Margo O'Donnell has bravely revealed how she
suffered an horrific sex attack as a vulnerable
young singer touring Ireland in the 1970s.
The legendary Donegal performer, then aged just 20,
was on medication for injuries she suffered in a
road accident and was having blackouts when the
attack happened one night after she came off stage.
“After singing one night, I felt dizzy and had one
of my blackouts and as I was coming round, this man,
whom I knew, was performing a lewd act in my
presence and though I was never physically raped, I
was forced to perform a sex act on this person,” the
63-year old reveals in her compelling new
Margo, who was teetotal at the time, said the
one-off incident in 1971 destroyed her self esteem. “Abuse can take many
forms and this event affected me very badly,” she tells
The young singer’s distress was further compounded
the same decade when someone in showbiz suggested
her career prospects would improve if she “sexually
“I ran so scared I
wanted to die. I believe that sort of thing happens
right up to the present day, but I am proud to say I
never slept my way to the top,” she said, crediting
the devoted fans who helped her succeed in the
Her tell-all book: ‘Margo Queen of Country & Irish:
The Promise and the Dream’, was released on Monday
by O’Brien Press. The 192-page memoir recounts the
entertainer’s descent into alcoholism after sampling
her first drink at the age of 23.
It tells how she bought
a hotel in her native county at just 27 and how she lost her life savings in a
financial investment. The enduring star, who never
married or had children, also tackles head-on the
many cruel rumours that plagued her early life. And
she recounts her long slow journey to sobriety.
Margo, who is the sister of entertainer
Daniel, describes her love for her youngest brother
and her pride at his achievements.
The country star also outlines her joy at getting
her mother Julia's blessing for her warts-and-all
life story before she died, aged 94, last May.
“I read for her every word I wrote in this book. I
wanted her blessing on it all and I got that from
her, and for that I’m grateful," she said.