ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth reveals her abusive ex-husband 'took every penny' and the 'only asset she has left is her pension'

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  • Ruth Dodsworth says that she has been left without any savings or a home 
  • READ MORE: ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth, 47, says she is ‘looking over her shoulder’ after her abusive ex-husband was freed from jail just 18 months into three-year sentence

ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has detailed the economic abuse she suffered during and after her marriage to her now ex-husband.

Despite working for 26 years, Ruth Dodsworth, 48, originally from Worthing, was left without a penny to her name, reported The Guardian.

The television journalist no longer owns savings or a home, and her credit rating has plummeted since her ex-husband, Jonathan Wignall, took out credit cards and loans in her name.

Jonathan, a former nightclub owner, was jailed for three years in April 2021 after pleading guilty to stalking and coercive control, but he only served 18 months.

Now, in a bid to help others, Ruth has opened up about the long-lasting financial ramifications of the abusive relationship.

Ruth Dodsworth, 48, has opened up about the economic abuse she faced during and after her marriage to Jonathan Wignall

Ruth Dodsworth, 48, has opened up about the economic abuse she faced during and after her marriage to Jonathan Wignall 

The only asset that Ruth still has control over is her pension, but she has claimed that Jonathan is still trying to gain half of it.

She questioned how it’s possible that she has a university degree, but no bank account of her own.

Ruth told The Observer: ‘He took every penny of my salary. If I asked for money for lunch at work, he would give me exactly £3 for a Tesco meal deal.

‘Work colleagues asked me for lunch, and I’d have to make excuses, so the isolation increased. I never saw mail or bills.’

The television journalist added that, at the time, she was completely unaware that economic abuse was a factor of coercive control, let alone that the consequences would impact the rest of her life.

Ruth’s case is one of the experiences that has featured in the report, Seen Yet Sidelined, by the Charity Surviving Economic Abuse.

The report set out to explain the effects of economic abuse in successful prosecutions of the Controlling or Coercive Behaviour Offence.

Jonathan (pictured left) would control Ruth's (pictured right) finances - and if she asked for lunch money at work, he would give her exactly £3 for a Tesco meal deal

Jonathan (pictured left) would control Ruth’s (pictured right) finances – and if she asked for lunch money at work, he would give her exactly £3 for a Tesco meal deal 

Ruth has previously disclosed the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband on Loose Women. 

She told the presenters that one day her two children rang her to warn her not to come home because he ‘would kill her’. 

She went on to discuss her fears at the prospect of her ex-husband being released early from prison after only serving half his sentence, which later came true after he was released after serving 18 months. 

She said: ‘One particular night I had gone to work as normal but during the course of the day he must have started drinking early on as by the time I got back from school my kids rang me.

‘They said ‘we’re okay but don’t come home because he will kill you.’

Jonathan, who was married to Ruth for 18 years, subjected her to a nine-year campaign of controlling abuse before pleading guilty to coercive behaviour and stalking – which also resulted in him being handed a lifetime restraining order. 

Ruth previously detailed the abuse she suffered during her marriage to her now-jailed ex husband on Loose Women

 Ruth previously detailed the abuse she suffered during her marriage to her now-jailed ex husband on Loose Women 

On Loose Women she went on to discuss how the abuse started, saying: ‘I didn’t know what coercive control was but my relationship was definitely one defined by coercive control.

‘It started off with a little bit of possessiveness and you think “oh he must really love me” then suddenly it becomes really overwhelming and overpowering.

‘It’s all very insidious and it happens under the radar, it was so subtle I lived with it for 20 years, I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know it was coercive control’

She continued: ‘I look back now and it was almost there from day one, losing contact with your friends, treading on eggshells, waking up thinking what mood will he be in today…

‘When he was nice he was the nicest person, he could be charm personified but that wouldn’t last and you never knew when it could switch.’

‘I would leave home and would be in tears because we would have argued about something silly…walk into the studio smile and then go home again in tears.’

She then detailed how he would try and get into her phone to check her messages and get her to Facetime him when she was away for work to check where she was.

She later revealed that she has fitted her house with security cameras and alarms since Jonathan was released early from prison, serving half of his three-year sentence. 




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