A mother who was brutally raped by a business tycoon has revealed how Sinéad O’Connor saved her life.
The singer’s former housekeeper also claimed the gifted musician lost the will to live after her 17-year-old son Shane died by suicide.
Speaking exclusively to the Irish Mail on Sunday, as authorities in England investigate why the 56-year-old singer was found dead at her London home on Wednesday, Kala Jackson Craft explained: ‘I was raped by a well-known businessman and then attacked by his son and when Sinéad read about it in the newspaper she tracked me down.
‘I was very, very, traumatised. I was a broken human being and nobody was willing to help me or believe what had happened to me as soon as they heard the name of the person who did it.
‘Sinéad believed me when no one else would and she saw that I was an honest person. If she had not tracked me down I probably would have died or walked into the sea,’ Ms Jackson Craft said.
Speaking exclusively to the Irish Mail on Sunday, as authorities in England investigate why the 56-year-old singer was found dead at her London home on Wednesday, Kala Jackson Craft explained: ‘I was raped by a well-known businessman and then attacked by his son and when Sinéad read about it in the newspaper she tracked me down
A mother who was brutally raped by a business tycoon has revealed how Sinéad O’Connor saved her life. The singer’s former housekeeper also claimed the gifted musician lost the will to live after her 17-year-old son Shane died by suicide
‘Her kindness and her good heart and the inspiration that she was to me… that she could be so humble having achieved so much and having been through so much and she still had the time to look out for someone like me who she didn’t even know. She saved my life because she gave me a job when I was at the lowest point of my life and she gave me the space and respect so that I could heal my own trauma,’ she said.
‘If Sinéad hadn’t come into my life I would not be here, that’s all there is to it. I will be forever grateful and I pray for her every single day.
She gave me the space and the respect
‘Sinéad O’Connor took time to help me to get back to the person I am.’
The 70-year-old grandmother and mother-of-three continued: ‘Sinéad was not the crazy woman people are portraying her as… this tragic, broken person.
‘Sinéad didn’t break until after Shane died. That’s when Sinéad broke. She died that day. Her human body was still here but her spirit was with him.’
Ms Jackson Craft and Sinéad’s paths first crossed in 2001 after the MoS – then Ireland on Sunday – ran a story about how the well-known businessman had allegedly raped his live-in housekeeper. Within days of meeting each other, the singer offered Ms Jackson Craft a job and a place to live at her then-penthouse apartment close to Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Getting to know you: Sinéad snapped her dog Skittle with Kala
Girls night in: Kala took this picture of Sinéad curled up with a toy
Recalling how Sinéad invited her for lunch, followed by a meal out and then a visit to her home, Ms Jackson Craft said last night: ‘We got on like a house on fire because we were both very strong women but very tuned into our defined femininity so we got along on a lot of levels. I am a professional cook so I had a lot of experience in things Sinéad didn’t.’
Sinéad made her feel good… ‘Hugs, affirmations of courage, just a beautiful experience for me in the delicate state that I was in. To find yourself where I was, you know my home gone, my car gone and here was this woman offering me a job with no agenda.
‘I don’t see her as someone tragic. I just see her as somebody who was an enlightened human being. She has been portrayed as a Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse… but, no, she was not a tragic figure. She was an enlightened, intelligent, empathetic woman who loved to give of herself,’ Ms Jackson Craft said.
Soon after moving in together, the two women developed a simple routine that few would imagine most international artists would enjoy.
Outside her front door she was the gifted singer whose stunning voice could bring silence to a stadium, the articulate celebrity who could be relied upon to turn up at rallies and fundraisers, and a person so familiar most people thought they knew intimately.
But within the confines of her home it was a different world. At any one time, according to Ms Jackson Craft, the singer had a number of places where she stayed.
However, only the most trusted were ever invited to the singer’s ‘real home’ and even then they were few in number.
Meanwhile, days were book-ended by the school run when the singer and her housekeeper would collect Sinéad’s then five-year-old daughter Róisín.
By then, the musician was no longer in a relationship with the little girl’s father, the journalist John Waters. Nevertheless, the couple co-parented their daughter and on the weeks Róisín lived with her mother, there was an ‘adventure’ each day after school.
According to Ms Jackson Craft, this could be something as simple as a walk along the beach, followed by a hot chocolate and a cup of coffee and a cigarette for Róisín’s mother at a café.
A letter from Sinéad to Kala about the pressures of parenthood
Thursday nights were designated as a ‘girls-night-in’ when Sinéad and her live-in housekeeper and cook would watch the UK drama series Cold Feet and Sex and the City together.
However, demands from people to share in the singer’s good fortune were relentless.
According to Sinéad’s former housekeeper, up to 30 ‘begging letters’ arrived each day from people seeking money, support and help.
I don’t see her as someone tragic
Then there were the hangers-on who apparently ingratiated themselves so they could avail of the singer’s generosity.
However, despite all her fame, good fortune and material wealth there were only two things the singer treasured. Her children and her creativity.
Ms Jackson Craft added: ‘Everybody wanted something off her. She was an authentic, original human being and look at all the amazing work she has done throughout her life. If she believed in you… if she thought you had loyalty and if she thought you were an individual critical thinker then that woman would literally give you the shirt off her back.
‘Her children and her creative abilities that was her soul. Sometimes there are people born and they are born to bring joy that’s all they want to do. But somewhere along the line it gets lost and that’s what I saw.
‘Sinéad was the kindest person I ever met in my life.’
Ms Jackson Craft added: ‘All Sinéad wanted out of life was to be a good mum. She hoped that she could live a normal life. She hoped that she could meet a man who would walk the mile with her. Money did not interest her.’
Meanwhile, tributes were paid to the singer at the Bray Air Display yesterday, with a manoeuvre by the Lancaster and Irish Air Corps’ Silver Swallows against a backdrop of a large photo of Sinéad on screen while the song Nothing Compares 2 U was played.