PETER Andre has admitted that he is “scarred for life” from childhood bullying as he emotionally shared the devastating long-term impact cruel taunts have had on him.
The 47-year-old star confessed that even decades later he won’t leave his hair in its natural curls because of the nasty remarks he received as a child.
The Mysterious Girl hitmaker appeared on Lorraine earlier today to discuss his new anti-bullying campaign, with Peter sadly knowing the heartache bullying causes all too well.
The father-of-four was targeted as a child when his Cypriot-Greek family moved from the UK to Australia – where they were the only “ethnic” family around.
Peter explained: “What happened was, moving to Australia – Australia is now so multi-cultural, and so beautiful, but when I first moved to the Gold Coast we were the only ethnic family on the coast.
“I don’t remember another ethnic family initially, we are talking 35 years ago, and I had the dark hair, the big nose and the English accent – I stood out.
“We were picked on a lot, initially it was racism – which is a form of bullying – and it wasn’t just calling names, we got beaten pretty bad.”
Discussing the long-term impact the bullies had, the star continued: “Years later, a lot of those people have apologised and they’re not like that now at all.
“But when you are bullied, even if you get through it like I did, certain things scar you for life.
“Bullying is a horrible thing and so many kids are going through it.
“It’s scarred me to the point that even now at 47, my hair is naturally curly but I won’t have it curly, I always straighten it.
“The reasons I do that is every time I look in the mirror and my hair’s curly… I see what those kids used to call me, so that’s the long-term effect of bullying and it’s really tough.”
He emphasised later in the interview: “It makes no sense to me that there are things I won’t do now because of bullying as a kid.
“That kind of makes me think come on, I’m nearly half a century older – I’ve got to get over it at some point.”
Peter then explained why he makes a point of being friends with his four children, 15-year-old Junior, 13-year-old Princess, six-year-old Amelia, and three-year-old Theo.
He told Lorraine Kelly: “My parents were my parents, they weren’t my friends they were my parents.
“And they were so strict I couldn’t talk to them about anything; very religious and very traditional in their culture.
“So the problem there was I became insular, I kept so many emotions inside and years later it manifested itself and came out in other ways.
“If they had that friendship side as well, where I felt safe and comfortable to talk to them and they would hear me out, I would have done so it’s really important.”
Last month, Peter admitted that he’d had “intense” therapy for a decade to cope with the depression that was sparked from being bullied.
He previously revealed that things had been so bad he contemplated suicide, and he was even targeted by a teacher in one shocking racist attack.