Dragons’ Den star raped when 12

STAR of Dragons’ Den Hilary Devey has revealed she was raped at the age of 12 but kept the attack secret for 43 years.

The multi-millionaire said she was sexually abused as a youngster by a man near her parents’ pub in Accrington, Lancashire.

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Mrs Devey, 55, who built up a business empire after launching her firm Pall-Ex in 1996, has spoken of the ordeal for the first time in her autobiography.

She recounts in Bold as Brass, how an older girl led her to an Italian man, who attacked her and threatened to come after her if she revealed what had happened.

Mrs Devey said she did not speak to her parents about the attack and said her father shouted at her for staying out all night. She added: “I didn’t cry or sob, try to explain or beg to be forgiven. I knew that my world had changed for ever.”