Vanessa Williams has it all: A thriving career, a beautiful family and gorgeous looks. But it hasn't always been so rosy. The actress reveals in her new memoir You Have No Idea that she was the victim of sexual abuse at the age of 10 and her abuser was the last person you'd expect.
Williams explained, "Family friends who had a daughter invited me to visit their friends in California with them. The family we stayed with had two kids."
One of those kids was a teenage girl. "Susan, who was 18, smoked, drove a car and was the epitome of cool. [My friend] Nancy and I slept in the den. One night Susan crept in."
"She told me to lie down on the rug. I was confused. Are we going to play a game? As I tried to make sense of it, Susan pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pajamas. 'What are you doing?' I asked. 'Don’t worry -- it’ll feel good.'"
"I lay there paralyzed. What was going on? I didn’t speak. She kept at [the molestation] for I don’t know how long. She slid my bloomers back up and whispered: 'Don’t tell anyone.'"
Williams was so shocked by what happened that she didn't tell an adult what happened.
"For years I kept Susan’s visit to myself. I didn’t really understand until college. I was with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted out: 'Oh my god -- I was molested.'"
But the actress is a survivor, and as she explained in the new issue of People magazine the incident "didn’t paralyze me, and I don’t dwell."
She did make sure to use her experience as a learning experience for her kids. "I was verbal about it so they knew what to look for," she said.
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