AnnaLynne McCord is for the first time sharing details about her painful past.
The actress-model revealed in an essay for Cosmopolitan that she was raped as a teenager
McCord, now 26, wrote that she had endured a childhood wrought with "abuse" and then found herself in a series of "dark and violently dramatic" sexual relationships with men. But after settling down with her first boyfriend at 16, things improved until, at 18, she moved to Los Angeles. That's where, she said, she was sexually assaulted.
"One night, a guy friend called. He said he needed a good night’s sleep for a meeting, as he’d been crashing on someone’s couch. I had known him for some time, so I said to come over and I set him up with a clean towel," she wrote. "We sat on the bed and talked for a while, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was inside me."
The former "90210" actress was momentarily stunned. After wondering "if I had done something to give him the wrong idea," and struggling to muster a response to what was happening, she stayed quiet for a moment before telling him to stop.
"He stopped and went in the bathroom and finished. I lay there and stared at the ceiling for the rest of the night, frozen," she wrote. "At dawn, I wrote a note to him and left. I sat outside in a car and waited for him to leave. When he did, I went back inside, took a shower, and pretended it hadn’t happened."
McCord kept the experience to herself for years, although she was "reeling." She wrote that at one point, she even cut her arm with a knife until she finally told friends and family that she had been raped. Then, after considering suicide, she realized she needed professional help, and began the process of "channeling my experience into something good."
Now, she makes a yearly trip Cambodia where she works with victims of sex slavery, and she'll embark on a college speaking tour in the fall.
"I have my message for women and girls: You have a voice. Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t let the polite lies of society silence you," she wrote.
"Honestly, I would endure everything all over again — it has led me to my own revolution."