Marcus Mumford Opens Up About Childhood Sexual Abuse For The First Time

By Rebekah Gonzalez

August 10, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Marcus Mumford is opening up about the meaning behind his debut solo single, "Cannibal." In the song, the Mumford & Sons frontman sings "I can still taste you and I hate it/That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it.” In the single's press release, Mumford said that he wrote the song to confront "demons he danced with for a long time in isolation." Now, in an interview with GQ, the musician has elaborated on those demons and has opened up about his experience of sexual abuse at 6 years old.

“Like lots of people—and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people—I was sexually abused as a child,” Mumford said. “Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years.”

After his mother heard "Cannibal" for the first time, she asked him what the lyrics were about. “I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s about the abuse thing,’” he recalled. “She was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So once we get through the trauma of that moment for her, as a mother, hearing that and her wanting to protect and help and all that stuff, it’s objectively f---ing hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a f---ing song, of all things.”

Mumford went on to describe the long process of reckoning with the abuse. "That thing that happened when I was [6],” he said, “was the first of a string of really unusual, unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age. And for some reason, and I can’t really understand why, I didn’t become a perpetrator of sexual abuse—although I’ve done my fair share of cuntish behavior.” You can read Mumford's full interview here.

Marcus Mumford will be performing at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival this September, and fans can tune in and watch live via an exclusive stream each night on September 23rd and 24th on The CW app and The CW Network will also broadcast a two-night television special this October. Additionally, the festival will be broadcast live for fans via iHeartRadio stations throughout the country across more than 150 markets, and on the iHeartRadio app.

Marcus Mumford
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