X Factor is as famous for its stories of heartbreak as it is unearthing new music talent, but singer Jahmene Douglas has revealed some of the most shocking secrets on the show yet.
The young singer, mentored on this year's show by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, has spoken openly of the abuse he experienced as a youngster at the hands of his father - who would reportedly torture his mother.
"It was just torture. It would turn my stomach every time I saw my father. I was living in fear," he tells The Sun newspaper.
"He would flip over anything — you didn’t lie, you didn’t swear, you didn’t put a foot out of place.
"But he’d always find something. Then you’d never know what he would do. There was a spectrum of things: Hitting you with a belt or a spatula, beating or strangling you.
"Once, because I bit my nails, he put a knife under my nail until it started bleeding. Another time he stopped me from eating for two days. I was about seven or eight."
Jahmene and fellow X Factor boys, James Arthur and Rylan Clark
Douglas also revealed an incident in which his mother endured a prolonged and vicious attack by his father, recalling the extent of his brutal home life.
"It was one of the worst nights ever. I woke up thinking, ‘Is she still alive?’ He used a blowtorch to brand her, used knives on her, dragged her through the hallway naked by her hair. He threatened to kill all of us in front of her.
"When the police came I couldn’t even recognise her face.
"I was used to seeing her being beaten and having bruises but this time she had hair missing, burn marks and her eyes were all puffed out, black and glazed over.
"I just hugged her. I couldn’t say anything. I never did say anything in the house.
"The thing that stays with you is hearing your mother scream and not being able to do anything."
The singer is speaking openly of these incidents to raise awareness of domestic violence.
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