AN aspiring TV presenter and model has spoken for the first time about the acid attack that shattered her dreams and left her permanently disfigured.

Brave Katie Piper has waived her anonymity to go in front of the cameras for a documentary about her struggle to recover from the horrific incident in Golders Green in March 2008.

The 26-year-old has undergone more than 30 operations to rebuild her face and now wears a plastic face mask for 23 hours every day to help flatten the scars.

She said: “I was a fun person. I was going clubbing and enjoying being young and single.”

Her life changed when she was attacked by her obsessive, steroid-fueled ex-lover Danny Lynch after ending their fleeting romance.

The pair had met on facebook and began a volatile relationship in which 33-year-old Lynch quickly became jealous and increasingly intense.

Ms Piper said: “We only dated for a few weeks, so it was quite early on.

“I saw a jealous streak, possessiveness, an anger problem, and little things about his life didn’t add up.”

The 6ft 4in cage-fighting brute subjected her to eight hours of sexual abuse in a hotel room just days before he hired hitman Stefan Sylvestre, 21, to drench her in sulphuric acid as she left her flat.

She said: “I remember walking out of my flat. A guy started crossing the street towards me. His arms were locked out in front of him, with a cup in his hands. I thought he was begging. I went to get money from my bag, and as I did, this guy threw the acid in my face.

“Initially I just remember thinking 'Oh my gosh, how terrible, this guy’s just thrown coffee at me.'.

“And then a few seconds after, the pain was just surging through my body, and I thought maybe it had been bleach. And then, when the pain just overtook, and started to reduce my vision, I knew it was acid. I thought perhaps I was on fire, because my whole body was in pain.

“I knew that I was in really serious trouble. My screaming was so loud that it was deafening me. I remember thinking “I wish that noise would stop,” and then realising that it was me.”

She ran to a café for help, an ambulance was called, and she was taken into intensive care. She was left partially blind and remained for seven weeks in a burns unit. She suffered injuries to her nose and throat that were so severe she needed to be fed through a tube into her stomach.

The attack was caught on CCTV and Sylvestre was arrested. He admitted throwing the acid, but claimed he had been ordered to carry out the attack by Lynch.

Sentencing Lynch earlier this year, the judge branded him “the face of pure evil” and handed him two life terms for the attack in Golders Green Road, and the “brutal and prolonged” rape.

Now trying to rebuild her life, Ms Piper said: “More positive things have come out of it than negative. I've changed as a person. I think I've matured, I know what and who is important in my life. "I'm happy with the life I've got now, I'm happy with the person I am and the relationships I've built.

“It sounds like a really odd thing to say, but it's been a really positive experience. It started out terribly, but it's proved to be a long journey with lots of great things on the way.

“I want to go on and get married and have children. I want a normal life, and I feel excited about life. I still have a zest for life, I don't feel broken or beaten in any way.”

Katie: My Beautiful Face will be shown as part of Channel 4’s Cutting Edge series on Thursday, October 29 at 9.00pm.