33-year-old TV presenter and radio host Zoe Marshall has opened up for the first time about the severe domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-partner.
The wife of NRL star Benji Marshall told The Daily Telegraph of her violent relationship, revealing that at one point she was so distressed she crashed her car and ended up in hospital.
Marshall, who is now six months pregnant, says she was dragged across the floor by her hair, had her head split open after it was smashed it against a brick wall, and had plates of food thrown at her.
“I feared for my life,” she said.
“I had moments where I thought ‘I’m going to die or I’m going to kill him because I’m so full of rage, I’m going to do something that I cannot take back. I was so scared of how far I could go and how far he could go when we were in that place.”
Marshall described how she was isolated from her friends and family, saying the abuse was never substance-related but about control.
She says her abuser was "clever" and "calculated" - "It was never on my face" and was "always where it could be covered" - and that she was not allowed to leave the house without him by her side.
Marshall even contemplated taking her own life as a means of escape. "I thought about it a lot for a period of that time. You don't know a way out, it seemed easier," she said.
Marshall also said that when she first started dating Benji in 2013, she struggled to talk to him about the abuse she had suffered in the past.
"Some previous partners couldn't cope and it ended the relationship," she said.
"Thank God I had someone like Benji who went, 'This is really full-on but I'm going to be patient with it'."
Marshall revealed the pair still see a therapist.
She is speaking out now after she and a friend launched a fashion line, Ruled By None, to raise and money and awareness for Share The Dignity, a charity that supports the victims of domestic violence and homelessness.
“People would question why I cared," she said of the cause. "I’m pregnant, I’m married to an amazing man, I’ve got a great career, all these things look fantastic, but you don’t know.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.