TV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has said she is ‘learning to live again’ after her ex-husband’s nine-year campaign to control, harass and stalk her during their marriage.
Ms Dodsworth, 45, a familiar face to viewers of ITV Wales, revealed she is now dating a new man and enjoys being able to wear whatever she wants and not hide her phone or always tell her where she is.
Her ex-husband of 18 years, former nightclub owner Jonathan Wignall, 54, pleaded guilty to coercion and stalking at Cardiff Crown Court in April.
He was sentenced to a total of three years in prison, half of which he will serve before being released on parole. He was also banned from contacting Mrs. Dodsworth.
Speak with wales online, Mrs. Dodsworth said: ‘I am healing, I must learn to live again. Practical things like wearing what I want. That may sound so trivial to everyone, but I haven’t been able to make those decisions in so long.’
TV weather host Ruth Dodsworth (pictured) has said she is ‘learning to live again’ after her ex-husband’s nine-year campaign to control her behavior, harassment and stalking during their marriage.
She added: “Relearning how to be in a relationship with another man was just the best thing there was, but I had to relearn the behavior.
“I don’t have to hide my phone. I don’t have to say where I am every minute of every day. These are the things I have to relearn, but I’m doing it.’
After being inundated with positive comments, the presenter admitted she didn’t really want the story at first, but now says it was “the best thing that ever happened to her.”
She said she was approached by “thousands” of men and women who had also been in abusive relationships.
“It’s horrible and it’s humbling and it’s the biggest thing I’ve been involved in. I so desperately want one person to hear this and think that if she can do it, so can I,” she said.
Ms Dodsworth (pictured with her ex-husband), 45, a familiar face to viewers of ITV Wales, revealed she is now dating a new man and enjoys being able to wear what she wants and not her phone to hide or say where she is always
Speaking of her children, who she said grew up watching what their father did to her, she said they were strong and healing from the ordeal.
Ruth admitted that she was afraid she would start to worry again if Wignall was released from prison, because her ex-husband blamed her for his prison sentence and never took responsibility for the abuse.
The presenter said she took life overnight and that she was happy now and so were her children.
In April, Cardiff Crown Court learned that the couple met in 2001, a year after Mrs Dodsworth started her weather job, and married in 2002.
But Wignall’s controlling behavior started around 2010 when the couple moved from Swansea to Cowbridge and she became their main breadwinner when his nightclub business began to fail.
Far from being delighted by his wife’s TV success, the court heard that he was an obsessive partner who would set an alarm to check Ruth’s nightly forecasts on TV and call her dozens of times a day to find out where she was. was and who she was with.
The presenter’s ex-husband of 18 (pictured right), former nightclub owner Jonathan Wignall, 54, pleaded guilty to coercion and stalking at Cardiff Crown Court in April. Pictured left, Mrs Dodsworth presents the weather
He would go to her remote broadcast locations or insist that she eat her lunch in the car with him, rather than in a studio cafeteria, which had a “devastating impact” on Ms Dodsworth and her self-confidence.
In a statement read to the court, Ms Dodsworth said she should portray a “happy, sunshine-like” personality while on television, even if she felt the opposite inside.
At home, he would demand access to her phone so he could check her messages and delete contacts he didn’t like.
He would insist that she see her go to the toilet and use the shower in case she uses her phone in the bathroom and accompany her to medical appointments. He even placed a tracking device under the wheel of her car.
After the sentencing, Ms Dodsworth appeared on This Morning to encourage other victims of domestic violence to speak out.
She revealed how her domineering ex-husband would punch her in the face if she fell asleep for him, while admitting she “wouldn’t be alive today” if she didn’t ask for help in the end.
Speaking to hosts Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes, Ms Dodsworth said: ‘At the worst, just under two years ago, when things escalated, I was at work and during that week he had called me hundreds and hundreds of times a day. called. showing up at the office, texting me “where are you”, asking who I was with.
Wignall (pictured with the host) was sentenced to a total of three years in prison, half of which he will serve before being released on parole. He was also banned from contacting Mrs. Dodsworth
“That particular day he started drinking early in the day and by the time my kids got home from school they called me saying ‘Mom, don’t come home, he’s going to kill you’ and I think that’s for me was a turning point.
“I didn’t go home that night because I don’t think that if I had, I wouldn’t be here in any shape or form right now.
“You had to confide in someone else to say, ‘Ruth, if you don’t call the police, I’ll call’—and that really changed everything.”
Ms Dodsworth explained: ‘If I waited for him to go to sleep first, it was okay. But when I went to sleep first, he hit me in the face to wake me up because it wasn’t on his terms.
“This is a man I loved and who is the father of my children. It’s humiliating, it was humiliating, but it’s so hard to get out of it. I would say to people, just go away. Speak to someone…
‘You only realize that isolation when you look back on it. His paranoia, his jealousy – I work in a very public job, I meet a lot of people and he couldn’t handle that.
“Every man I met was a potential affair and that jealousy escalated to the point where he offered to pay my kids money to go into my phone. I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t ask for help.’