American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino has unveiled yet another traumatic aspect of her past - she was physically abused at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

The 21-year-old singer, who recently revealed she can barely read or write and was once sexually abused as a 14-year-old, now admits that when she was with BRANDEL SHOUSE - father of her four-year-old daughter ZION - she was beaten and degraded on a regular basis.

She says, "When I was living with Zion and her father, there was fighting going on, drinking, partying.

"I was wearing the same clothes (every day) because the money that I got all went to Zion. I found myself stealing milk, stealing Pampers. I was starting to get to a comfortable place with that life, being beaten and spit on (by Shouse).

"I forgive him. But I don't forget. He used to tell me, 'You ain't never gonna be nothing.' Now when we talk, he's like, 'You surprised me.'

"It's like, 'Look at me now!'"