British singer Paloma Faith has opened up about her troubled upbringing in a "rough" part of London, recalling how she was nearly sexually assaulted as a teenager.

The pop star, who was born and raised in the Hackney area of London, began working as a performer in hedonistic nightclubs at a young age and admits she saw too much too soon, and once had a close call with an attacker.

She says, "I've been escaping reality ever since I was born. I grew up in Hackney and it could be a rough place. There were a lot of drugs about, but my mother made my childhood wonderful by using her imagination to shield me...

"I went to nightclubs at 13. It was too young - you see things at that age that you shouldn't. I got scared regularly and I had near misses and saw a lot of negative things.

"I did a gig not long ago in Dalston (in Hackney) and got a cheer for declaring, 'It's good to be home!', then I said, 'Yeah, I was sexually assaulted in a phone box around the corner!' I was being facetious, but it happened. I lost my phone in a cab, and as I tried to ring my mum, the door was yanked open and this guy jumped in and tried to have his wicked way with me. I fought him off and ran home."