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Former Princess Recalls Fighting Off Attempted Sexual Assault While In The Military: 'I Gave Him A Clap On His Nose'
Tessy Antony, who served in a United Nations peacekeeping force in Kosovo in 2004 as a member of the Luxembourg Army, said that the incident was “not a big deal” for her because she knew what to do.
Tessy Antony, the ex-princess of Luxembourg, is opening up about her own experience with sexual assault by recalling a time where she was forced to defend herself from a fellow member of the military who tried to force himself on her.
The former royal shared her story during a recent interview with the podcast “Unleashed: The Game Changers,” hosted by author Paola Diana and shared on YouTube on Friday. After Diana asked if she was ever in a situation where she felt that her life was in danger, Antony, who joined the Luxembourg Army at the age of 18, recalled an experience she had as the sole woman on a peace-keeping mission in Kosovo.
“Another [member of the] military who tried to sexually assault me, so I needed to defend myself,” she said, adding later, “Literally, I gave him a clap on his nose, and it was very painful for him. But for me, it was not a big deal because I knew what to do. I had the education.”
“But that’s why I speak up about it now, sexual violence in conflict, which is often a weapon of war but also practiced between the military,” she continued. “Man with man, man with woman, women towards men as well, and I think that’s a stereotype we need to talk more [about].”
Antony, 34, previously referenced her experience with sexual assault in the military in an op-ed for The Telegraph in 2016, writing, “I also experienced a degree of attempted abuse. Luckily, I had the tools and training to defend myself. However, hundreds of thousands of women all over the world are not as fortunate. I want to speak up for them.”
She spent five years in the military, and during her time serving, she strove to support women, she said. While writing about the aforementioned United Nations peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 2004, she explained, “As a woman — one of very few female peacekeepers — I found that I was able to provide a service for women and girls, who suffer terribly in conflict zones. While doing night watches or searches, I was able to support them, listen to them and defend them.”
Speaking to the “Unleashed” podcast recently, Antony reiterated her desire to support women, specifically women who have endured sexual abuse.
“I want to give confidence to all of these other women that experience that,” she said. “To speak up, defend themselves. Because I think we’re still a long way from that. Because it’s a shameful topic, isn’t it? When you’re being humiliated like that, to talk about it.”
“I try with my story… to give confidence to other women to be the woman they want to be,” she continued.
Antony became the princess of Luxembourg when she married Prince Louis of Luxembourg in 2006; after announcing their separation in 2017, their divorce was finalized in 2019, according to UK outlet Royal Central. Following the dissolution of her marriage to Prince Louis, Antony, who shares two sons with her famous ex, was no longer able to use the title of ‘princess.’
According to her Twitter bio, Antony now focuses on her roles as a social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and public speaker, among other titles. She co-founded the education nonprofit Professors Without Borders in 2015, and currently serves as the organization’s director of logistics.