Marcus Mumford Shares He Was Sexually Abused at 6 Years Old

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Marcus Mumford
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Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford is opening up about sexual abuse he experienced as a child. In a new interview with GQ Hype, Mumford, who is set to release his debut solo album next month, told the outlet that he was sexually abused at the age of six -- something he discussed in one of his first solo records, "Cannibal." 

"Like lots of people -- and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people -- I was sexually abused as a child," Mumford told the outlet. "Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years."

It's something Mumford revealed that he hadn't even revealed to his mother until playing the track for her. A few days later, she asked her son what the song was about.

"I was like, 'Yeah, it’s about the abuse thing,'" he recalled. "She was like, 'What are you talking about?' So once we get through the trauma of that moment for her, as a mother, hearing that and her wanting to protect and help and all that stuff, it’s objectively f**king hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a f**king song, of all things."

The song is the first on the album, with "Grace," a track about the ensuing conversation he had with his mother, coming in at number two.

"I felt like it had to go first," he shared. "I started sort of apologizing for it, in my head. But it’s like, that’s not right, either."

While Mumford is talking openly about his trauma now, he didn't address it until 2019 after a slew of addictive behaviors and a dependence on alcohol pushed those around him to stage an intervention, which ultimately led him to enter therapy.

"That thing that happened when I was six, that was the first of a string of really unusual, unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age," Mumford explained. "And for some reason, and I can’t really understand why, I didn’t become a perpetrator of sexual abuse -- although I’ve done my fair share of c**tish behavior."

He continued, "String of really unhealthy sh*t when I was under the age of 12, which set my brain up in a way to deal with stuff later on in life in an imbalanced way. And so the last three years has just been trying to look at that and correct some balance."

Mumford continued to seek help and advice from people like Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and someone who has studied childhood trauma. He made an effort to undo "learned behaviors and ways of interacting with the world that just, like, needed tuning up."

"And a part of that for me was wrapped up in, like, overindulging with booze and with food, and part of my journey has been, like, addressing the food stuff, because I leant into it," he added. "I quit booze, I didn’t lose any weight for a year, because I just replaced the booze with ice cream, right?"

But during COVID-19 pandemic, when he found himself at home in Devon, England with his wife, Carey Mulligan and their two kids -- his mother living next door -- he tapped into the opportunity for a "reset." Mumford worked on the farm he and his wife maintain and accepted a slower, different life. 

"I hadn’t had a sense of place around home since I left high school," he shared.

While his new record deals with topics of shame and reckoning, it's nothing new for Mumford.

"I lived most of my adult life up until just really recently in, like, layers of shame," he said. "And it probably started there when I was six, but I just got kind of addicted to shame, layers and layers of shame, which is why I feel now like I’ve done lots of figuring that out. And some of the areas in which I was trying to make that shame go away just led to more shame for me. And now being able to pick those apart a little bit and, like, chip away at the layers of it is why I feel kind of free, more free than I have in a long time."

For more on the singer, check out the video below.

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