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MY SHAME AT LETTING GAZZA BEAT UP MUM; Stepdaughter tells of attacks.

Byline: By Keith McLeod

THE stepdaughter of former Rangers star Paul Gascoigne yesterday told how she saw him beat up her mother.

Bianca Gascoigne said she felt "shame" that she could not help her mother or stop her stepfather's attacks.

The teenager, now 19, was four in 1991 when her mother Sheryl took her and younger brother Mason - both from her first marriage - to live with the former England, Spurs and Newcastle player.

Sheryl, 40, later went on to have a son Regan with the fallen football star and married him in 1996, during the early days of his successful Ibrox career.

But the couple's relationship was marred by violence and Sheryl started divorce proceedings just a year later.

She later claimed that the footballer had regularly physically attacked her.

In one shocking incident, just two months after their fairytale wedding, Sheryl suffered two black eyes and dislocated fingers after Gazza assaulted her during a stay at the Gleneagles Hotel.

But Bianca, who spoke out about her experiences to raise awareness of domestic violence charity Refuge's 35th birthday, revealed she still speaks to her stepdad and even gives him advice when he calls her in floods of tears.

Speaking yesterday, on This Morning, she said: "Every night I would sit there and think, 'Is there anything I can do?

"I thought it was all happening because I wasn't doing the best I could to stop it. And you do feel a lot of guilt, shame and responsibility."

Bianca said her first memory of Gascoigne's violence towards her mother came when the family went on holiday to Sardinia, but the footballer begged her not to tell anyone what had happened.

She explained: "In the next room, I could hear my mum sobbing and crashing and banging.

"Throughout my life it just became a normal thing to put up with.

"The morning after the incident in Sardinia I said to my dad, 'You promised you would never hurt mum again'."

"He said, 'It has to stay in the family. It can't be repeated'."

Although she stressed that the former Gers midfielder never hit her, Bianca insisted he made her suffer in other ways.

She said: "It was more the mental abuse that has remained with me my entire life.

"I wanted to hurt him back just as much as he was hurting my family. Even now, it's more anger than anything else."

Gascoigne, 38, recently admitted: "What happened with my wife I deeply regret and that will live with me forever."

And Bianca tried to comfort Gazza after he was sacked from his job as Kettering Town manager last year.

She said: "I feel sorry for him at the moment because of the state he's in.

"He phones me sometimes sobbing his eyes out and, strangely enough, I seem to give him the advice.

"He is my dad at the end of the day."

'It's the mental abuse that has remained with me'

CAPTION(S):

BRAVE: Bianca speaks of the attacks on ITV's This Morning show yesterday' ANGRY: Bianca on TV yesterday. Far left, the teenager with Gazza, Sheryl and Mason in 1998 RUCKAS
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 11, 2006
Words:522
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