Penny Lancaster broke down in tears on the UK talk show "Loose Women" as she revealed she was sexually assaulted on the way to school.
The panel were discussing a head teacher in Hartlepool’s request that girls wear thick black tights as part of their school uniform to protect their modesty and keep them safe on the walk to school.
Lancaster suggested the length of girls’ skirts should be “sensible” with the caveat that it's up to parents to decide what their kids should wear.
The 44-year-old former model then went on to describe an “unfortunate incident” she had once had at the age of 12 on the way to school.
Breaking down in tears, Rod Stewart’s wife admitted she was walking to school late one morning having been at choir practice the night before when a man sexually assaulted her.
She sobbed: “I was attacked under a subway and I managed to, being tall and strong, and I managed to fight this man off who had pulled my skirt up and wrestled with me.
“And it was a few weeks later that I was in an undercover police car outside what they thought was the man that attacked me, and because I was the oldest at the age of 12 who had given the same description of this man and unfortunately it wasn’t him.
“But there are a lot of evil men out there that will prey on young girls and it doesn’t matter what they wear so they shouldn’t be to blame as to whether they were being encouraged or not.”
Lancaster admitted she would normally travel to school “with a group of children,” adding “if you want to put a message out there for children to be safe, it’s about travelling in groups, safety in numbers.”
Her fellow panelists Coleen Nolan, Janet Street-Porter and Sherrie Hewson rushed to comfort her and praise her bravery for telling her story.
Lancaster gave a final warning that girls and boys “need to be educated of the dangers” that are “out there on the street.”