Football – Patrice Evra reveals in his autobiography to have been the victim of sexual assault

After keeping everything to himself, Patrice Evra decided to become an example. Retired for two seasons, the former French international will have waited until he was 40 years old to indulge in a trauma that has haunted him since his adolescence. And it is in his autobiography, entitled “I Love this game” and which the Times published extracts, which the former Manchester United defender has decided to open up for the very first time about the sexual assault he suffered as a child.

Then 13 years old, Patrice Evra lived three nights a week in the house of the principal of his college, who had made this proposal to him in order to reduce his travel times between his home in the town of Ulis (located southwest of Paris) and its new school. Using his hold on this young boy, the latter “Regularly introduced” in Evra’s room to abuse the future French international defender. These sexual assaults, described in detail at the beginning of the autobiography, send shivers down your spine.

Patrice Evra.

Credit: Getty Images

A feeling of shame

“Thinking I was asleep, he ran his hands under my quilt and tried to touch me. I knew what he was doing was wrong, so I tried to push him away and hit him. I was strong, but I was afraid […]. It could last 10 or 15 minutes, like a fight. He wasn’t kidding, he was trying at all costs to take my pants off. In the dark, he didn’t speak. But he was touching himself and the situation turned him on sexually. […] The last night at his house, when he knew I was going to go home, he finally got it. He put my penis in his mouth ”.

Before starting to write his book, Patrice Evra had never dared to talk about what he endured, apart from his fiancée, Margaux Alexandra, with whom he had just had a little boy named Lilas Latyr. . By confiding in Times, Evra revealed that he never managed to tell his own mother about this abuse, by “shame” and “afraid of the gaze of others”. At 24, the age at which he played at AS Monaco, he even decided to deny the facts to the police, who were investigating his former principal for similar facts. It was only two weeks ago, to anticipate the publication of his autobiography, that Patrice Evra managed to take the plunge with the one who gave him life.

Patrice Evra

Credit: Eurosport

He tells : “Of course, my mother was devastated. It was difficult for her. […] She realized that something was wrong when I told her that I didn’t want to sleep at the principal’s anymore. But I waited until I was 40 to tell him about it. It was a shock to her. Lots of anger. She told me she was sorry. Not to put that in the book, that it was private. But when I told her that I was not doing it for myself but for the other children, she understood “.

Help free speech

This testimony, Patrice Evra does not do it only for him. But above all for all the other children who are confronted with the facts of sexual assault, which he would like to help free the word thanks to his aura of former professional footballer and his status as a public person. “I want kids to have the courage to speak up and not feel guilty, because I’ve always felt guilty. I’m not afraid to say that not talking about it made me feel like a coward for many years. […] Living with it was one of my biggest regrets, because I could have helped so many people. I’ve had enough of this toxic masculinity. For my father crying was a sign of weakness, but it is not. […] I’d rather be an inspiration and an example than a victim “.

Patrice Evra at Clairefontaine in November 2016

Credit: AFP

Asked about the follow-up he would like to see emerge from his confidences, Patrice Evra is not sure of himself. “I don’t hate whoever did this to me, that’s my crazy side. I always forgive, so I don’t know if I want to see him in jail.”, he said. “This person no longer exists. The trauma has been done. The only reason I would want to see him in prison is to protect other children. For me, I will not get any satisfaction.” Now retired after more than twenty long years of career, Patrice Evra seems to be ready to start his new life.

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