Entertainment

Golden Globe winner Morton says UK police never investigated child abuse

LONDON: Golden Globe-winning actress Samantha Morton has said she was sexually abused as a child in the English city of Nottingham but authorities refused to respond to her complaints, a familiar tale as Britain grapples with a string of child abuse scandals.

Morton, who was living in a council-run children’s home from the late 1980s, told The Guardian newspaper that she was first befriended by two residential care workers, made to feel special by being given extra food before finally being abused.

Morton has been nominated for two Oscars and starred with Tom Cruise in the 2002 film Minority Report.

She said social workers provided “no support, no offer of counseling, no wanting to delve deeper” and the police removed her from the home, took no action and allowed the two men to keep their jobs.

Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement there was no record of Morton approaching them in the past and that she had not made a complaint in recent weeks despite being contacted by officers on several occasions.

The county council said in a statement on Saturday that it was working with police to investigate the allegations and was confident that current standards of care were monitored and complaints dealt with quickly.

However the allegations could add to concerns that historic allegations of abuse were not taken seriously after high-profile public figures were found guilty this year of abusing children and a recent scandal in the northern town of Rotherham.

British newspapers have been dominated in recent weeks by revelations from an independent report of the abuse of 1,400 children by men of Pakistani descent.

The scale and graphic nature of the crimes have raised difficult questions about whether timidity about confronting the issue of race had prompted authorities to turn a blind eye.

Some of the victims, mainly white girls in care homes, were as young as 11 and were plied with drugs and alcohol and subjected to gang rapes.

Morton grew up 40 miles south of the town and said she had not been able to sleep for a week after hearing the allegations, The Guardian said.

The issue of historic child abuse came to the fore in Britain following a 2012 national scandal over revelations that the late BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile had been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

A major abuse investigation launched by police has seen a number of celebrities arrested and questioned with some, including publicist Max Clifford and Australian children’s entertainer Rolf Harris, jailed for abusing children. -Reuters

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