X Factor 2016: Marianna Zappi opens up about abusive relationship

X Factor Marianna Zappi

Marianna Zappi has opened up about the abusive relationship she escaped from before singing on The X Factor.

Marianna is a 34 year-old campaign coordinator who is originally from Italy but has been living in London for the last 8 years.

Back during her first audition, she opened up to the cameras: "I've been singing for a very long time and my journey got to a stop suddenly because I was in an abusive relationship."

"It was quite a hard time of my life but I'm able to stand here in front of you guys today and I can't even tell you how grateful I am. It's just one of those things, you're like 'YES!'"

Marianna went on: "Music's the only thing that kept me going at that time, after four years I walked out... for someone who was caged for so long, freedom is such a blessing"

She added, "The past is in the past and I shall not dwell on it any more... here I am now, singing my life out every day, just because I can."

After singing Bob Marley's Redemption Song, Marianna was told by Nicole Scherzinger: "I love you to bits. You're just awesome. I told myself I wouldn't cry then you made me cry... You're very inspiring and you're strong enough to share your story."

Now in an interview with The Sun newspaper, Marianna has spoke out about her four years with a violent partner.

"If I had stayed with him after that I would be dead," she candidly revealed. “I remember one Christmas he kicked me in my back so hard that he lacerated a muscle. At other times he choked me, he put a knife to my throat.

“He would smash chairs over my back and push my face into the stove while it was on."

She continued: “I thought he was going to kill me. He even said to me once, ‘If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.’”

Marianna admitted she didn't tell anyone about the abuse at the time, explaining: “You stay because you see them begging and crying and saying they will die without you. Nobody knew I was being abused not even one friend.”

However after finally freeing herself and walking away, Marianna now works for The Women’s Trust and counsels other domestic abuse victims.

"If I could give one piece of advice to people it would be to read the signs," she said. “If someone is bullying you, then it is a form of abuse.

X Factor Marinna

“Don’t be ashamed. It can happen to anyone.”

Tonight we'll see Marianna singing for a seat at judges' houses, performing Eva Cassidy's Somewhere Over The Rainbow for the judges at Wembley Arena.

The X Factor 2016 airs tonight at 7PM on ITV.