Marcus Mumford got candid in a recent interview where he revealed he is a sexual abuse survivor.
“Like lots of people … I was sexually abused as a child,” the Mumford and Sons musician, 35, told GQ in a cover story posted Wednesday, August 10, revealing that the incident took place when he was 6 years old. “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.”
The guitarist was sharing a new song, “Cannibal,” with the outlet, which is set to be the first single on his upcoming solo record, when he revealed the traumatic subject matter. “I can still taste you and I hate it / That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it,” the track’s pointed lyrics begin.
The British-American singer also played the song for his mother, Eleanor Mumford, who lives next door to the home he and wife Carey Mulligan share with their two children, Evelyn, 6, and Wilfred, 5, in Devon, England.
Marcus recalled his mother listening intently to the song’s formidable story and then leaving. She did, however, return a few days later to inquire about the lyrics.
“[She said,] ‘Can I ask what that song’s about?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s about the abuse thing.’ She was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” the California native shared. “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–king hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a f–king song, of all things.”
The “I Will Wait” singer decided to make “Cannibal” the first song on the album, followed by the track “Grace,” which details the conversation he had with his mother about the abuse.
The “Little Lion Man” crooner went on to discuss the band’s fourth studio album, Delta, which was released in November 2018. One of his bandmates, Ben Lovett, described the record as being about “the four D’s: death, divorce, drugs and depression.”
Though Marcus grimaced at the “terrible description,” he did admit to his struggles at the time — with alcohol, eating habits and “trying to find connection in the wrong places” — that contributed to a kind of intervention from friends.
“I was at the point where, basically, I’d hit enough of a rock bottom that I was ready to surrender,” he explained. “I’d had the people closest to me hold up a mirror and say, like, ‘Dude, something’s not right here and it’s your responsibility to go figure it out.’”
The “Hopeless Wanderer” singer began seeing a trauma therapist, and during their second conversation, while talking about what happened to him as a child, he began to throw up.
“Apparently, it’s very common,” he said. “Once you basically unhook the denial and start the process of removing some suppression, then it’s very natural for that stuff to come out. I’d had problems breathing all my life. Not asthma but just, like, catching my breath.”
He added: “That thing that happened when I was six, that 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 c–tish behavior.”
The songwriter went on to describe “unhealthy sh–t” that occurred “under the age of 12” which set him up to deal with life “in an imbalanced way.”
Marcus’ self-titled solo record is set to be released September 16.
If you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).