In an emotional 40-minute conversation with former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville, Alli revealed that he had spent six weeks at a rehab facility in the United States this summer to help with his mental health due to an addiction to sleeping tablets.
But the 27-year-old also opened up on his traumatic childhood in which he detailed shocking and painful moments he experienced.
‘It’s something I haven’t spoken about that much but there’s a few incidents that can give you a brief understanding,’ Alli told Neville on The Overlap.
‘At six I was molested by my mum’s friend who was at the house a lot. My mum was an alcoholic.
‘Then I was sent to Africa to learn discipline, then I was sent back. Seven I started smoking. Eight I started dealing drugs, selling drugs. An older person told me that they wouldn’t stop a kid on their bike so I’d ride around with my football and underneath I’d have the drugs.
‘At 11 I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate. 12 I was adopted and from then…I was adopted by an amazing family, I couldn’t ask for better people to do what they done for me.’
Alli, who has no contact with his biological mother, Denise, was adopted by the family of one of his teammates in the youth team at MK Dons, the club where he made his professional debut at the age of 16 in 2012.
Speaking to The Sun, Denise said she was unaware that her son had been sexually abused and is ‘upset’ that she no longer has contact with him.
‘I have not been able to stop crying since I heard my son describe the abuse he suffered as a child,’ she said.
‘I had no idea he’d been molested.
‘I’m so sorry. It breaks my heart to think that someone I allowed into my house might have betrayed my trust in the worst possible way.
‘I cannot put into words how upset I am I no longer have contact with my son — and only hope I’ll have the chance to see him again.’