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Exclusive: Penny Lancaster shares details of horrific bullying ordeal

Hello! logo Hello! 21/09/2020 hello

Penny Lancaster looking at the camera: Hello! Magazine © @Copyright HELLO! Hello! Magazine

She is a world famous supermodel and TV personality as well as being the wife of one of the world's best-known rock stars, so it comes as no surprise that Loose Women star Penny Lancaster has no shortage of fans or friends.

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However, her glamorous life with Sir Rod Stewart is a world away from her childhood and the school bullies who made her life a misery. "I didn't know if someone was going to be waiting for me on my journey to school or on my way home, at playtime or at lunch; there was always this build-up of anxiety and fear," the 49-year-old revealed in this week's HELLO!.

"The bullying was both verbal and physical and I don't know what's worse. People always say sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me, but I kind of disagree with that. They torment you and it goes round and round in your head like a bad song. It sticks with you and can really affect you long term."

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WATCH: A sneak peek inside Penny Lancaster's home

Penny is speaking out as youth charity The Diana Award and the Nationwide Building Society prepare to broadcast the first Big Anti-Bullying Assembly, which will be beamed into primary schools all over the country next week and will feature celebrities including Peter Andre, James McVey, Katie Leung and Will Poulter, who will share personal stories, offer guidance on dealing with bullying and reflect on the importance of building.

The Loose Women panellist, who is mum to sons Alastair, 14, and Aiden, nine, recalled how she was regularly attacked throughout her five years at secondary school in Essex and singled out because of her height and the way she dressed.

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"I used to do ballet, which is quite disciplined, so my hair was always perfect, and I was taller than everyone, including the boys. I had long, skinny legs, and as you get older you like those things, but growing up I felt very self-conscious.

"I was called posh because I spoke nicely and refused to swear, which I thought was a good thing but to others I didn't fit in."

Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart posing for the camera: penny-lancaster-rod-stewart © Provided by Hello! penny-lancaster-rod-stewart

The model is married to Rod Stewart

"The bullies used to pull my hair out of my ponytail and throw rubbers at me," she continued. "They were mostly girls but there were also boys. They would follow me home and ride their bikes into the back of my legs; I went home once with my legs bleeding."

READ: Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart welcome cute fluffy addition to their brood

Despite the torment, Penny has said it is "a great honour" to be involved with a charity that continues Diana's legacy of supporting young people.

"A lot of the time Diana didn't fit in and was scrutinised and judged," she explained. "I think she tried her best to remain down to earth and focus on her charity work and that’s obviously rubbed off on her boys [the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex] in the way they support so many disadvantaged people. This is a great reflection of the work she did when she was alive, which continues to inspire so many people."

a group of people walking on a path near a building: rod-stewart-penny-lancaster-children © Provided by Hello! rod-stewart-penny-lancaster-children

The couple share two sons together

On how she deals with any negativity from trolls, Penny added: "I was one of the lucky ones, I managed to come out the other side. I would rather have not gone through half of what I went through, but it did give me the tools to deal with situations as an adult and the confidence to stand up to people, because you think: 'I'm just not allowing that to happen.'

"I tend to ignore bullies on social media and not give them fuel and I believe in smiling in the face of ignorance, being bigger and better than them and rising above it.

"I tell my sons that whatever is going on, whether it's at school or on the football pitch, to keep their side of the street clean. Be kind, respectful and a good person to show others how you want to be treated. Sometimes it's tougher to do that, but in the long run you come out on top I think. It really doesn't take much to be positive and kind."

To read the full interview, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! magazine, out now

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