EastEnders actor Stuart Antony has taken to social media to publicly address the abuse he suffered as a child for the first time.
Mr Antony, now 34, has revealed he was sexually abused by William ‘Billy’ Nutt, who was a singer and former landlord of pubs in Kent, for five years from the age of 10.
He had met Nutt because was a family friend who sang in the pub where his mother worked.
Nutt, 62, committed a string of offences on three victims between 1998 and 2007.
The abuse was reported to Kent Police between 2014 and 2016 and Nutt, of Maidstone, was arrested and charged with 21 sexual crimes involving three children.
At Southwark Crown Court he was jailed for 18 years for the abuse of the three victims in April.
Nutt denied the charges but was convicted by a jury after a 12-day trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
Mr Antony has now waived his right to anonymity as a victim of sexual abuse, to speak openly about how the abuse affected him.
So, who is Stuart Antony and what did he say on Instagram?
Who is Stuart Antony?
Stuart Antony, of Gravesend, Kent, is a star of the small screen and the big screen.
He is best known for playing Simon White, a friend of Shane Richie’s Alfie Moon in BBC soap EastEnders.
Among his other TV roles are Shifter in Cockney & Scouse (2020 to 2022), Matthew Dawson in The Bar (2018), PC Ben Smith in The Bill (2011) and Harry Wood in Light the Lights (2011).
He’s also appeared in films, including Mrs Henderson Presents (2005).
Antony has now used his experiences to create a new TV drama, called Iris, and has been researching the life of barristers to help with the show.
It is described on IMDB as a 10-part drama about life at the criminal bar, following the career of Barrister Iris Stone QC and her high profile trials.
Mr Antony is listed as a character called James Styles, and the programme is set for release in 2023.
What has Stuart Antony said on social media?
He said he had “suffered in silence for many years” and urged anyone who had also experienced sexual abuse to tell someone about it.
He said: “It’s the first time I’ve spoken publicly about this but today I finally get some closure.
“Billy Nutt, the man who sexually abused me hundreds of times over a five year period as a child has this afternoon been jailed at Southwark Crown Court for 18 years for rape and sexual assault of a child.
“It was a long, tiring investigation and trial and sometimes I wondered if it was all worth it. Yes it bloody was!
“Thank you to my family and friends for being there every step of the way, Kent Police, Crown Prosecution Service and Madeline Wolfe (prosecution barrister).
“I suffered in silence for many years but a huge weight has now been lifted and I hope I move on from this traumatic experience.
“If you have experienced any kind of abuse please, please, please talk to someone.”
How have people reacted to Stuart Antony’s statement?
Fans have taken to social media to show their support for the actor.
One said: “You are incredibly brave mate. Glad justice has happened for you.”
Another said: “Sending you lots of love and I’m glad you finally have closure now.”
One commended him for speaking openly
“Amazing courage to say it on social media. Well done for sticking to your guns and getting justice.”
Another said: “You really are very brave to speak out. I hope you are proud of yourself.”
Mr Antony thanked fans for their kindness on his Twitter page.
He said: “Wow I really don’t know what to say. I have literally thousands of very kind tweets and messages from you all. I will respond to everyone, it’s just taking time. Thank you so much.”