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Alex Scott ‘Devastated’ After Learning One Of Her Ancestors Owned Slaves

Credit: @alexscott2/Instagram

Alex Scott has been left ‘devastated’ after learning that one of her ancestors owned slaves. 

The TV presenter made the shocking discovery about her family’s past in an upcoming episode of BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?.

In a trailer for the programme, Scott is shown visiting Jamaica where she learned that her 4x great grandfather Robert Francis Coombs (on her father’s side) owned 26 slaves as well as property.

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Alex Scott
TV presenter Alex Scott travelled out to Jamaica to learn more about her ancestry in Who Do You Think You Are?. Credit: @alexscott2/Instagram

After looking at the records from the 1800s, the 37-year-old said: “In my family line – this doesn’t sound right coming out of my mouth – but Robert Francis Coombs owned people?”

The Football Focus star was told by a historian that Coombs would have been allowed to prosper due to being light-skinned.

She was then informed that during this period in time, it wasn’t unusual for free people of colour to own slaves.

An emotional Scott responded: “In terms of explaining my emotion behind it, I suppose that goes against everything that I stand for, who I am.”

Once the show finished filming, the former professional footballer admitted that she hadn’t been expecting to delve into that side of slavery.

According to the Mirror, she commented: “I was very aware we may be delving into the topic of slavery, but I really did believe I’d be learning about my family as slaves, not the other side, as the slave owners.

“It was hard to take. That ownership of a human life is so wrong. I don’t think that stories are told a lot about black people owning slaves.”

Despite learning the heartbreaking truth, Scott insisted that she’s glad she found out more about her family and said people shouldn’t ‘hide their past’.

She said: “People hide their past because maybe they see it as something that people will frown upon if they tell true stories.

“But I will never be ashamed of my history because it’s made me the person I am today.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.