For the first time ever, Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson has opened up about an abortion she had at the age of just 23 – something she admits left her feeling “the most terrible black doom”.
73-year-old Anne is fronting a new show, Abortion On Trail. And it’s here that she opens up about an unexpected pregnancy she experienced when she was newly married in 1968.
Despite her new marriage to first husband Charles Wilson, the famously stern TV presenter admitted she was “very unhappy”, leaving her confused about what to do about her pregnancy.
After finding out she was expecting, she explains, “At the beginning of 1968, I was newly married, very, very unhappy and I found I was pregnant.
“I was terrified, confused and very, very lonely because I didn’t think I could talk to anyone.”
And Anne admitted that the stigma of abortion in her religious family made things all the more difficult.
She continued, “I came from a Catholic family and I was well aware of what Catholicism thought of abortion and it was a really isolated place.”
“So much so that the only way I felt I could go through with an abortion was if I didn’t think about … what I was doing. It was like someone who was shutting their eyes and jumping from a cliff.”
But despite her decision, Anne also revealed that following her abortion, she was left feeling an immense depression.
“Fear makes you behave in a very odd way,” she revealed, “What I remember is, unexpectedly, the most terrible black doom came over me and it lasted for months.”
The TV star is now divorced from second husband John Penrose, but has one daughter, Emma Wilson, with her first husband.
(Anne with daughter Emma Wilson)
Anne admits that while she felt an ‘inherent shame’ about what she’d done, she still to this day hasn’t allowed herself to regret it.
She confessed, “Again I didn’t talk about it because I was ashamed of what I’d done, and how could I explain that I felt so depressed.”
But, Anne revealed that, 50 years on, “I haven’t allowed myself to regret it.”, she continued, “It was quite a hard question to ask what I thought about it since, and the truth is that I have tried very hard not the think about it.
“I can see that a lot of that is inherent shame in me and after all these years and it’s nearly 50 years ago, so it runs very deep.”
Anne’s confession forms part of her new BBC Two programme, where women come together to discuss their experiences with, and views on abortion.
The show will air on 16th October, 9pm on BBC Two.