ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has detailed the economic abuse she suffered during and after her marriage to her now ex-husband.
Despite working for 26 years, Ruth Dodsworth, 48, from Worthing, found herself penniless, The Guardian reported.
The TV journalist no longer has savings or a home, and her credit rating has plummeted since her ex-husband, Jonathan Wignall, took out credit cards and loans in his name.
Jonathan, a former nightclub owner, was jailed for three years in April 2021 after pleading guilty to criminal harassment and coercive control, but only served 18 months.
Today, in an effort to help others, Ruth opened up about the long-term financial consequences of this abusive relationship.
Ruth Dodsworth, 48, has opened up about the economic abuse she faced during and after her marriage to Jonathan Wignall.
The only asset Ruth still has control over is her pension, but she claimed Jonathan was still trying to earn half of it.
She wondered how it was possible that she had a college degree, but no bank account.
Ruth told The Observer: “He took every penny of my salary. If I asked for lunch at work he would give me exactly £3 for a Tesco meal.
“Work colleagues invited me to lunch and I had to find excuses, so the isolation increased. I never saw any mail or invoices.
The TV reporter added that at the time she was completely unaware that economic abuse was a coercive controlling factor, let alone that the consequences would impact the rest of her life.
Ruth’s case is one of the experiences featured in the Surviving Economic Abuse charity’s Seen Yet Sidelined report.
The report aimed to explain the effects of economic abuse in successful prosecutions for controlling or coercive behavior offences.
Jonathan (pictured left) would control Ruth’s (pictured right) finances – and if she asked for lunch money at work he would give her exactly £3 for a Tesco meal deal
Ruth has previously revealed the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband on Loose Women.
She told presenters that one day her two children called her to tell her not to come home because he would “kill her”.
She then spoke about her fears at the prospect of her ex-husband being released early after serving only half his sentence, which later came true after he was released after serving 18 months.
She said: “One night in particular I had gone to work as normal but during the day he must have started drinking very early because when I came home from school my children called me.
“They said ‘everything is fine, but don’t come home because he’s going to kill you.’
Jonathan, who was married to Ruth for 18 years, subjected her to a nine-year campaign to control abuse before pleading guilty to coercive behavior and stalking – which also earned him a restraining order for life.
Ruth has previously detailed the abuse she suffered during her marriage to her now imprisoned ex-husband on Loose Women.
In Loose Women, she went on to explain how the abuse started, saying, “I didn’t know what coercive control was, but my relationship was definitely defined by coercive control.
“It started off with a bit of possessiveness and you’re thinking ‘oh, he must really love me,’ and then all of a sudden it gets really overwhelming and overwhelming.
“It’s all very insidious and it goes unnoticed, it was so subtle that I lived with it for 20 years, I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know it was ‘coercive control’
She continued, “I look back now and it was almost there from day one, losing touch with your friends, walking on eggshells, waking up thinking what mood he would be in today…
“When he was nice he was the nicest person, he could be the epitome of charm but that wouldn’t last and you never knew when that might change. »
“I would leave the house and be in tears because we had argued about something stupid…I would walk into the studio smiling and come home in tears. »
She then explained how he would try to access her phone to check her messages and get her to Facetime him when she was away for work to check on her whereabouts.
She later revealed that she had fitted her home with security cameras and alarms since Jonathan was released early from prison, serving half of his three-year sentence.