Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan Suffered Horrific Sexual Abuse: ‘I Buried It’

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In 2013, late Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan told LIFE Magazine she was molested for four years starting when she was 8 years old by someone whom she trusted.

“I was only a kid,” the musician — who leaves behind three children, Taylor, 20, Mollie, 16, and Dakota, 12 (with ex-husband Don Burton) — told the outlet. “It gets hard as well when you have daughters because you get flashbacks when you’re with them and when you are watching them. You wonder, ‘How can anyone get satisfaction in any way, you know?’”

The rocker often talked about how motherhood was her priority, and also said having children changed her life for the better. “The kids were actually completely elemental in my healing process,” she told LIFE about trying to move on from the abuse.

Dolores also discussed the abuse in an Irish Independent interview.

She said: “We moved into a busy housing estate when I was seven. There were tons of people around all the time. My mother worked a lot to pay the bills and my father was oblivious to it [he was left with permanent brain damage after an accident].

“He [the abuser] used to masturbate me when I was eight years old. It was inappropriate touching. For four years, when I was a little girl I was sexually abused. I was only a kid.”

Dolores revealed the sexual abuse resulted in her becoming anorexic as she developed “self-loathing”.

She continued: “You think it is your own fault. I buried it. It is what you do initially. You bury it because you are ashamed of it. You think: ‘Oh my god. How horrible and disgusting I am.’

“You have this terrible self-loathing. And then I got famous when I was 18 and my career took over. It was even harder then. So then I developed the anorexia.”

Due to the eating disorder, Dolores admitted she would put on a “charade” which ultimately made her depressed.

The Irish singer added: ”When I Googled anorexia and studied it, I found out it was a common pathology that develops later on in life. So I was putting on this charade, this perfect face. I had anorexia, then depression, a breakdown.”