Vanessa Williams shocked the world earlier this month when she revealed that she’d suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a family friend when she was just 10. In a recent interview with ABC’s “Nightline,”the “Desperate Housewives” star revealed even more details about her rape and abortion as a teenager.
“Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life,” said Williams, who became pregnant during her senior year in high school. “I knew in high school that’s something that I was not prepared to do, or fight, or struggle with.”
Williams appeared on the show with her mother, Helen Williams, and says she got an abortion because she was ashamed to tell her parents about her pregnancy and sex life.
Williams also claimed that her highly sexualized youth was a direct result of being molested by a female family friend.
“I think I was highly sexualized because I was in fifth grade and I had this experience,” Williams said. “Because it feels good, you’re like, OK, well this is supposed to be normal. That’s not normal for a 10-year-old to be seduced.”
We commend Williams for being brave enough to share her story of abuse to the world, and hopefully, her admission will help others in her shoes to heal and bring about more conversations about this crime. Below you can check out a list of other stars who’ve shared their tales of abuse as well.
Mary J. Blige
Last year, during her VH1 “Behind The Music” special, Mary J. Blige revealed that she had been molested at the age of five by a family friend. Mary kept her assault a secret for years and claimed that it was a source for her years of depression and drug and alcohol abuse
Sugar Ray Leonard
Last year, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard revealed in his autobiography that he was sexually assaulted by his former coach in the early 70s.
In 2008, Mo’Nique revealed to Essence Magazine that her brother, Gerald, raped her when she was 7-years-old. Mo’Nique claimed the sexual abuse continued until she was 11 and though she told her parents about it, nothing was done. After Mo’Nique’s public confession, her brother went on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and admitted that he raped his sister.
Since the early days of her career, Fantasia has made it no secret that she was raped by a fellow student during her high school years. During her 2010 “Behind The Music” special, Fantasia spoke in detail about the incident and how it affected her. Unfortunately, Fantasia’s father publicly commented that Fantasia brought the rape upon herself because of her revealing clothes. Thankfully, Fantasia and many others have frowned upon her father’s comment.
Over the years, Tyler Perry has spoken candidly about his childhood abuse at the hands of his father and in 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the filmmaker revealed that he was sexually assaulted by three different men and the mother of a friend when he was a child.