Everyone has tough moments in their life, but Vanessa Williams opened up about a particularly painful time when she was a young girl. Her trauma was revealed on the latest edition of Oprah’s Master Class.
She was sexually abused when she was 10 years old and on vacation with a female family friend in California.
She shared, “This older girl was one of the cool girls. She made you want to feel like you were a grown-up and that was what made her cool.”
The now-51-year-old actress described what happened when her friend sneaked into her room one night. Williams was ordered to lie on the floor and take off the bottoms of her pajamas. That is when the molestation occurred.
“I had no idea what it was, but I knew it felt good and I knew I shouldn’t be saying anything and I didn’t tell anyone,” she said. “I knew it felt good, but also something that was not supposed to be happening.”
One thing the former Ugly Betty star did notice is that the event made her “more sexually promiscuous” and “more curious at a younger age than I should have been.” Those effects lasted for years.
She did not tell her parents what happened on the trip because she returned home to find out her brother had died. The family was coping with his loss, so she suppressed the memory of the sexual abuse.
Williams also expressed the guilt she felt long after the molestation.
“At that young age, having that happen to you in your body, it awakens your sexuality at an age where it shouldn’t be awakened,” she said. “Had that not happened in my life, and I had an opportunity to have a normal courtship with a boyfriend at 16 or whatever and have your normal first kiss, there wouldn’t have been this shame that was kind of always haunting me.”
According to ABC News, this is not the first time she has told her story. The actress first told her tale to the public in her 2012 memoir, You Have No Idea.