Greek-Cypriot singer Peter Andre revealed that he contemplated committing suicide after suffering years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of bullies.
Peter was born in London to Greek-Cypriot parents, but moved to Australia when he was six years of age. The singer first became known on the Australian music scene in the early 90s.
As soon as he started school in his new country, Andre was bombarded with horrible verbal abuse by his fellow pupils, his teachers, and even his neighbors, who mocked his appearance and Greek-Cypriot heritage.
In a candid video for the youth charity “The Diana Award’s #Back2School” campaign, Andre opened up about his experiences, admitting: “Did I ever contemplate ending it? Yeah. In that period of time, yeah.”
He went on, saying “When you’re a kid with dark hair, dark eyes, strong English accent, much bigger nose than the kids around you, I was an outcast like you wouldn’t believe.”
The singer said that the term “wog” was once commonly used by Australians for Greeks, Italians, and all other people originating from the Mediterranean.
“I mean, it happened instantly… In our neighborhood, where we moved into, you’d walk down the street and they’d go, ‘Get outta here, wog!’ That’s what it was like,” the pop star remembers.
Andre also spoke about being physically abused by his peers who beat him up because, as he says, he liked football. He related his horrible experience at primary school, where other students even tied him up and took turns throwing stones at him.
“They were laughing and calling me a ‘greasy wog,’ and I mean it was horrific. I was really, really scared, I was petrified,” he remembers.
Andre also explained that he was even verbally abused by a teacher at the school, and from that point on, he says, he knew he was “finished,” as he had both students and teachers bullying him for being an outsider.
Andre was still being bullied at the age of thirteen, but he found great solace in the world of music. His confidence grew when he entered talent competitions and then took martial arts classes.
Speaking about the bullying campaign, the singer said he wants to tell children: “You’re not alone. We’re at a time now when you can actually tell people anonymously, which is a huge thing that we never had, where you can go and make a phone call and be anonymous and report something.”
The Diana Award offers free training for “Anti-Bullying Ambassadors” in schools across the UK. Celebrities talk about their personal experiences of being bullied, give advice and raise awareness of the need for Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in every school.
The Diana Award offers support via its media campaign called #Back2School, with more advice online at their website and through all their social media channels.