Fearne Cotton tells how she confronted owner of scaffolding firm after workers harassed her in the street by shouting abuse at her while she was out with her husband
Presenter Fearne Cotton has recalled the moment she confronted the owner of a scaffolding company after she was harassed by one of his employees in the street.
The former Radio 1 DJ said an ‘inner rage took hold’ after the men targeted her with abuse and sexual comments during a walk with her husband Jesse Wood.
Miss Cotton, 41, said she hit back at the men before noting the name of the company and later calling the owner in Benidorm, Spain, because she was unable to ‘feel ok’ after the encounter.
She also revealed that she had previously spent a long time being ‘terrified’ to walk alone.
Fearne Cotton, 41, a former BBC presenter, said she hit back at the men before noting the name of the company and later calling the owner
Fearne said her husband, Jesse Wood (left), was with her when the sexist comments were made and that he intervened
‘I’m not in any way wanting to accentuate stereotypes that may or may not exist, but I walked past a bunch of scaffolders and – I was with my husband unbelievably – but there was some abuse shouted at me,’ she said on her Happy Place podcast.
‘Some inner rage took hold and I sort of lost the plot a bit and I kind of walked back and was like “you cannot talk to me like that”. And it didn’t stop. They carried on.
‘Then my husband kind of got involved and we sort of said “right, what’s going on here?” And then they denied it and said “Oh, no, there’s other workers, they’re round the back of the house” – which was obviously a lie.
She continued: ‘And this fury within me, which I think was probably cumulative… And then when I walked off, because I’d obviously called them out they shouted stuff. This bit wasn’t necessarily sexual, but it had been – but it was just swearing and saying horrible things.
‘And I went back again, because I was like “I cannot walk home and feel ok with what’s just happened”.’
Miss Cotton, who has son Rex, nine, and daughter Honey, seven, with Wood, 46, said she took down the name of the company from their jumpers, Googled it and rang their boss with whom she had a ‘really good chat’.
Opening up: Fearne Cotton said ‘some inner rage took hold’ during the incident with the scaffolders
Career: Fearne has been a solid part of the TV and radio world since she began her presenting career at the age of 15 (pictured on Celebrity Juice with Holly Willoughby, Keith Lemon, Rufus Hound in 2009)
Married to the son of Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, Jesse Wood, Fearne has two children and has focused her recent years in family life and her Happy Place Podcast, which she promoted on Lorraine in October 2022
She said: ‘He happened to be on holiday in Benidorm, quite irritated that this was actually going on.
‘I sat at home fuming and I was just deep breathing. I knew it wasn’t just about that one incident, it was just knowing that we’ve all had this for years and years.’
She then received a phone call from the perpetrator, adding: ‘We had a chat and it was actually alright.
‘And we sort of ended it on me sort of saying “I’m a human, just walking about, having a walk with my husband”.’
She said she really hopes he will never make women feel ‘scared, p***** off or infuriated’ ever again.
The presenter recalled the encounter during an interview with Emily Atack ahead of her BBC2 documentary Asking For It? in which she opens up about the online abuse she receives from men online.
Miss Cotton said she was left ‘terrified’ by some of the comments that she would receive while on air at BBC Radio One.
‘Some terrified me and were not so much sexual but violent, aggressive,’ she said.
‘The paranoia I had at that point of my life I’d be walking the streets looking over my shoulder constantly.’