I'm A Celebrity's Ruthie Henshall credits dancing with 'saving' her after being abused as a child

I'm A Celebrity's Ruthie Henshall credits dancing with 'saving' her after being abused as a child

Ruthie Henshall has said ‘discovering a love for dancing saved her’ after she was abused by a family friend when she was four-years-old.


The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant, 53, spoke candidly about her past, adding that it was ‘extraordinary’ to find something to channel her feelings into.


She told The Daily Mirror: ‘When I found dancing, it was like somebody had turned the light on in my life. I couldn’t get enough of it.’ 




Candid: I'm A Celebrity's Ruthie Henshall has said 'discovering a love for dancing saved her' after she was abused by a family friend when she was just four-years-old


Candid: I’m A Celebrity’s Ruthie Henshall has said ‘discovering a love for dancing saved her’ after she was abused by a family friend when she was just four-years-old



Ruthie, who grew up in Kent and trained at Laine Theatre Arts School in Surrey, said she struggled with relationships in the years after being abused and would ‘behave badly’.


However having performing and being able to dance gave her an outlet for some of her feelings.


She said: ‘It was extraordinary to find something to channel all these feelings that were going on inside me. I really believe it saved little Ruthie.’ 


The West End star also reflected on how she got into ballet after asking another girl on the playground why she did ballet as it is ‘sissy’.




Life changing: The West End star, 53, who has performed in dozens of hit shows, added that she thinks dancing really 'saved little Ruthie' (pictured in Crazy For You in 1993)


Life changing: The West End star, 53, who has performed in dozens of hit shows, added that she thinks dancing really ‘saved little Ruthie’ (pictured in Crazy For You in 1993)



Ruthie said the youngster told her to give it a try if she thought it was ‘sissy’ and the performer never looked back.  


Ruthie also candidly reflected on her difficult past in a 2011 interview with The Daily Mail, telling the paper that she prefers not to say exactly what happened. 


However she did reveal that she was only four-and-a-half when a close and trusted family friend sexually abused her. 


She explained: ‘But it was serious, and he frightened me as much by what he said afterwards as by what he’d done. 




Performer: Ruthie trained at Laine Theatre Arts School in Surrey after getting into ballet when she chatted to another child on the playground about it (pictured in Crazy For You in 1993)


Performer: Ruthie trained at Laine Theatre Arts School in Surrey after getting into ballet when she chatted to another child on the playground about it (pictured in Crazy For You in 1993)





Emotional: Ruthie previously talked about the abuse in a 2011 interview with The Daily Mail, saying that she doesn't like to discuss what exactly happened (pictured on I'm A Celebrity)


Emotional: Ruthie previously talked about the abuse in a 2011 interview with The Daily Mail, saying that she doesn’t like to discuss what exactly happened (pictured on I’m A Celebrity)



‘I don’t remember the words he used. But I can clearly recall his finger wagging in my face and the threat of what would happen if I told anyone “our” secret. I was very, very scared, properly afraid.’


The same man then repeated the abuse when Ruthie was eight and nine. ‘And I never breathed a word to anyone,’ she said.     


Ruthie has starred in dozens of stage shows during her career including Cats, Miss Saigon, Crazy For You, Les Miserables and Chicago.


On Thursday’s I’m A Celebrity she reflected on her time in Crazy For You and said that she once ‘nearly had an accident on stage’ after being given ‘something for a bad stomach’ by Hollywood star Micky Rooney.




Ruthie said: ‘He mixed something all up and told me to “drink it all”, so I glugged it down and I got to a number called Stiff Upper Lip, and I thought “I’m either going to be sick or I’m going to poo myself in front of 1200 people”.  


‘I ran off stage both, both ends came off but the projectile came first as I was getting into the wings.’


Ruthie’s role in Crazy For You at the Prince Edward Theatre back in 1993 established her as one of the most popular stars in the West End. 


She was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance and took the show to Canada where she acted opposite Mickey Rooney, who died in April 2014.   


Stage show Crazy For You is largely based on 1930s musical Girl Crazy. The 1943 film saw Mickey play the lead of Danny Churchill alongside Judy Garland as Ginger Gray.




Close call! Ruthie has reflected on her career several times during her stint at the Welsh camp and on Thursday revealed she 'nearly had an accident on stage' after being given 'something for a bad stomach' by Hollywood star Micky Rooney


Close call! Ruthie has reflected on her career several times during her stint at the Welsh camp and on Thursday revealed she ‘nearly had an accident on stage’ after being given ‘something for a bad stomach’ by Hollywood star Micky Rooney