- 20:00, 16 MAY 2023
Rebekah Vardy, who recently trademarked the term ‘Wagatha Christie’, is set to open up about growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness in her brand new documentary.
The footballer’s wife has said that she was sexually abused before being “manipulated” into keeping quiet about it and not reporting it to the police.
The 41 year old, who is married to Leicester City star Jamie Vardy, left the church at the age of 15.
The star shared that her family were shunned after her parents decided to get a divorce and explained that relatives and friends were banned from speaking to them.
“I think that’s where my real resentment to religion started,” Rebekah said.
The church itself has hit back at Rebekah’s claims, branding her allegation that church elders discouraged her from reporting sexual abuse “false and offensive.”
Rebekah is not the only star to have grown up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and other celebs have opened up about their experiences growing up in the religion, including Peter Andre and Geri Halliwell…
Peter Andre was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness but left the church when he became an adult. He’s previously opened up about the fact that his parents are still very devout and shared that, while he "respects" the denomination, he "no longer believes" in any of it. Peter now says he doesn’t follow any religion.
Geri Halliwell shared that her family briefly converted to being Jehovah’s Witnesses during her childhood. "My mother went through a phase of missing out birthdays and Christmas, and that’s quite uncomfortable when you’re eight years old," the star said, before explaining that "thankfully" her parents decided it didn’t suit them.
Naomi Campbell was also raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, as her mother Valerie was a member of the religion. However, Naomi’s mum once opened up about the faith, and assured fans that she didn’t push Naomi to stay in the church. "She had to choose her own faith," Valerie said.
Luke Evans opened up about his experience growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness. The star left the church at the age of 16 but said that his "parents are still witnesses" and that he still has "respect" for the lessons they taught him. He added that the experience left him with "thick skin".
Serena Williams is one of the few celebs raised as a Jehovah’s Witness to stay in the church. The tennis champ revealed after the birth of her daughter Olympia that her family "don’t celebrate birthdays" because of their devout faith. "We’re Jehovah’s witnesses, so we don’t do that," she said.
Gold medalist Greg Rutherford shot to fame when he triumphed in the long jump at the 2012 London Olympics, but the sportsman had everyone talking when he confessed that his strict Jehovah’s Witness parents didn’t let him celebrate Christmas. The dad of two said that it was an "ordinary day" for him, but does celebrate the holiday with his own two kids and has since left the church behind entirely.
Michael Jackson became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1963 when his mother decided to convert to the faith. He remained a Jehovah’s Witness until the age of 29, when he released the Thriller music video and found himself shunned by the strict religious group.
This is America rapper Donald Glover was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. The star admitted that he didn’t even have access to a TV and would only hear about popular cartoons from kids in his class at school. The musician now says he identifies as an atheist.
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