Former 'X Factor' contestant Katie Waissel enrolling at law school

'X Factor's Katie Waissel is training to become a lawyer. (Getty Images)
'X Factor's Katie Waissel is training to become a lawyer. (Getty Images) (WireImage)

Former X Factor contestant Katie Waissel is going back to school to retrain as a lawyer.

The 35-year-old reality TV star - remembered for her barefoot performances on the show in 2010 - hopes to make changes to the three year time limit on historic abuse cases. Earlier this year she claimed was sexually assaulted by a member of the X Factor team some years after her appearance on the ITV talent show.

Waissel told the Made By Mammas podcast: “People are transparent, there’s no place to hide anymore. People’s voices are heard and rightly so.

Read more: Fleur East says 'X Factor' should 'come with a warning' for young music stars

“I think that it’s important for the current laws and regulations to be modernised to coincide with that, which is what I’m working towards and why I’ve decided to start law school in September.

“I’m really passionate and dedicated to ensuring that those changes happen by the time the next generation comes into play.”

Katie Waissel was mentored by Cheryl on 'The X Factor' in 2010 and liked to perform barefoot on the live show. (Getty Images)
Katie Waissel was mentored by Cheryl on 'The X Factor' in 2010 and liked to perform barefoot on the live show. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The singer-songwriter - who competed in Celebrity Big Brother in 2016 - said she felt like Reese Witherspoon's character Elle Woods in the film Legally Blonde.

Waissel - a single mother to three-year-old son Hudson - said: "I’m starting law school next month which is really cool and exciting. I do feel like Elle Woods or Erin Brockovich – either or. They are brilliant.”

The fitness trainer claimed in April this year she had been sexually assaulted by a member of The X Factor team. She said the incident too place at a luxury hotel in the US several years after she competed on the singing contest.

Waissel told The Sun: “I can still smell him. I was paralysed with shock. All I could think was, ‘How am I going to leave this room?’

“I was a victim but I wouldn’t allow myself to recognise just how terrible it had been. I’ve never spoken before as I thought I’d be blacklisted and never work again.

“I was vulnerable but times have changed and I now feel bold enough to speak out.”

Katie Waissel performs live during the X Factor Live tour, at Wembley Arena, London. EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Editorial use only, no merchandise, no use after July 10, 2011. Further more: Photographs may only be published during the period of 3 months after the last date of The X Factor Tour and only within the context of the concert and The X Factor Tour. Accordingly, no other use, reproduction, dissemination, publication or distribution of the photographs of any kind may be made by any newspaper or magazine or any other persons or entities on their behalf or with their permission.
Katie Waissel performing on 'The X Factor' live tour in 2011. (PA) (EMPICS Entertainment)

A spokesman for Syco Entertainment told The Independent: “We were made aware via the media of Katie’s claims in Autumn 2017 and we immediately contacted her and began an investigation. We were naturally shocked at the allegations and wanted to do anything we could to help – so we asked her to lodge a complaint with us and detail the allegations for that purpose.

“In the interim we suspended the accused. Despite a number of requests to Katie asking her to detail the claims to us, she chose not to make a complaint over his behaviour. As a result, and without other evidence to the contrary, we were obliged to accept his denial of the claims.

“We, of course, remain ready and keen to investigate her claims if she so chooses to detail them to us and even though the alleged perpetrator no longer works for either Syco or Sony Music.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Tyla Carr, Jess Shears and Katie Waissel attend the UK launch of the world's first electronic stroller, ePRIAM by Cybex on June 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Cybex)
Katie Waissel [far right] with her son Hudson in 2019. (Getty Images) (Nicky J Sims via Getty Images)

Rebecca Ferguson, who was runner-up on The X Factor the year Waissel took part tweeted her at the time to offer her support, saying: “I stand with you and every woman who has the courage to speak out and tell their truth."

During her time on singer show Waissel was mentored by Cheryl. After the series ended she was publicly outspoken in her dislike of the judge, saying: "I personally thought she was nasty, a horrible human and completely not genuine."

Read more: Katie Waissel slams 'X Factor' mentor Cheryl again

When Waissel appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2016 she was caught up in a row with Christopher Biggins when he made a joke in reference to the Nazi Holocaust.

Biggins was removed from the house as a result.

Watch: Rebecca Ferguson supported Katie Waissel over historic sexual abuse claims