Earl Spencer: 'The Floodgates Open' in Stories of Abuse

  • By Pete Cooper
  • BBC News, Northamptonshire

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In his book, Earl Spencer alleges physical and sexual abuse at Maidwell Hall.

Earl Spencer says the response was „like the floodgates opened” after his revelations about the abuse he suffered at boarding school.

His memoir describes the abuse he endured when he was sent to a boarding school at the age of eight.

Midwell Hall, in Northamptonshire, said it was „relieving” to read about the Earl's experiences.

Earl Spencer said the past two weeks have been „extremely difficult … and emotionally draining” to talk about the abuse.

The 59-year-old, whose family home is Althorp in Northamptonshire, attended Midwell Hall between the ages of eight and 13.

In her book A Very Private School, she alleged sexual and physical abuse by teachers at the school.

But he revealed that he was in therapy and that „all roads lead back to this boarding school.”

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Earl Spencer said Maidwell Hall had not contacted him directly about his book

He said: “I didn't realize what I was taking [writing the book] But it's ultimately good for me and I've come out the other side a happier person.”

Speaking about the reaction, she said, „I can't believe what's happened, I'm filling up my inbox” with people sharing their experiences of abuse at boarding schools.

„It's like the floodgates have opened, I've never seen anything like it,” he said.

Earl Spencer, the younger brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, said he was contacted by a friend's wife who said it was „the first time she had seen her husband happy” when she was able to talk about her own abuse.

He also said the brother of a governor at a school that „provided hit boys” contacted him this week „to apologize for what his brother did”.

„It had a real knock-on effect, much more than I was hoping for, so if it did, it served its purpose,” he added.

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Earl Spencer pictured with his father, his second wife Raine, „a kind, sweet man” who tried to find alternatives to boarding school

In a statement, Midwell Hall said, „It was sobering to read about the experiences of Charles Spencer and some of his fellow alumni at the school, and we regret that that was their experience.”

It added: „Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to read about practices that were believed to be normal and acceptable.

„In education today, every aspect of school life has evolved significantly since the 1970s. At the heart of the changes is protecting children and promoting their well-being.”

It „encourages anyone with similar experiences to come forward and contact Midwell Hall [local authority] or the police”.

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