Stars Who've Spoken Out About Abuse

Julianne Hough latest celebrity to speak up about childhood abuse.

January 3, 2013, 11:06 AM

Jan. 4, 2013— -- intro: Actress Julianne Hough is speaking out about abuse she said she suffered as a child.

"I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," the "Rock of Ages" star told Cosmopolitan in its February issue.

Sent to London at age 10 to study dance at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Arts, Hough said she was taken advantage of by the adults around her because she was separated from her parents.

"I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer," she said. "I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl."

Now 24, Hough said the abuse became worse "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."

The actress declined to say who abused her or elaborate on the nature of the abuse. "What's past is past," she told the magazine.

Nonetheless, painful emotions from her childhood recently resurfaced during the filming of her latest movie, "Safe Haven," which opens Feb. 14. Hough plays a young woman who survives an abusive ex-boyfriend and accepts the love of a widower, played by Josh Duhamel.

"I went from bawling to containing to laughing to crying again," she recalled about one difficult scene. "Josh was crying. I think it was the most therapeutic moment of my life."

"You see a celebrity, and a lot of them seem to have it all together," writer Antwone Fisher told in 2010. "They look healthy, wealthy and wise, like they've had a charmed life. But most of them have traveled bumpy roads."

Fisher (no relation to the writer of this story) wrote about being sexually abused at the age of six by a woman taking care of him in his memoir, "Finding Fish," which was later adapted for the film "Antwone Fisher."

He said when celebrities talk about abuse, it not only helps others heal, but it helps the celebrities themselves to heal.

"I feel sorry for other people who haven't found a way to make sense of it," he said. "The shame keeps some people from getting better."

Click through to read about other celebrities who have spoken out about their own abuse.

quicklist: 1title: Mo'Niquetext: For her Oscar- and Golden-Globe-winning role as an abusive mother in "Precious," comedian Mo'Nique drew on her childhood experience as a victim of sexual abuse.

In 2008, Mo'Nique revealed that she had been sexually abused by an older brother when she was just 7 years old. The comedian told Essence magazine that while growing up in Baltimore, her brother molested her four times over four years, once using candy to lure her into a bathroom.

"My brother was a monster to me," she told Essence. "I became my brother" when "Precious" director Lee Daniels would say, "Action."

Despite her apprehension about going public, Mo'Nique told Essence, "It's my obligation to let people know, and to tell women to watch their children."

During her Golden Globe acceptance speech, she dedicated her award to victims of abuse. "I celebrate this award with all the Preciouses, with all the Marys -- I celebrate this award with every person that's ever been touched. It's now time to tell. And it's OK," she 18122909

quicklist: 2title: Gabriel Byrnetext: In January 2010, Irish actor Gabriel Byrne revealed that he was first molested at age 11.

"I didn't feel I suffered at the time. I just felt it was the way of the world," Byrne said on Irish TV show "The Meaning of Life". "It took many years to come to terms with it and to forgive those incidents that I felt had deeply hurt me."

Byrne, star of HBO's "In Treatment," said he experienced sexual abuse two different times. The first time was as an altar boy at a Christian Brothers School in Ireland.

"It was a known and admitted fact of life amongst us that there was this particular man, and you didn't want to be left in the dressing room with him," Byrne told the Irish television show. "There were certain boundaries, sexual boundaries, [that] were crossed. And it was mixed up with fear and ultimately with shame.

"I had the misfortune, when I went to England to seminary, there was another incidence of it, and I had to face it again. I was unlucky in that way," he added. "It didn't go on for a very prolonged period, but it happened at a very, very vulnerable moment."

Byrne said he didn't feel the impact immediately.

"But I suppose when I think about my later life and how I had difficulties with certain issues, there is the real possibility they could have been attributable to that," said the actor, who has battled 18122933

quicklist: 3title: Teri Hatchertext: In 2006, "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher went public with a claim of sexual abuse at the hands of an uncle when she was 5.

"This is something I've tried to hide my whole life," she told Vanity Fair.

But the actress was compelled to act in 2002 after she learned that a 14-year-old victim of her uncle had committed suicide.

After Hatcher told prosecutors her story, her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone, then 64, pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation in the case of the 14-year-old victim and received 14 years in prison.

Chuck Gillingham, the Santa Clara County deputy district attorney in California, told The Associated Press in 2006: "Without Teri, this case would have been dismissed."media: 18122993

quicklist: 4title: Mackenzie Phillipstext: In September 2009, actress Mackenzie Phillips revealed to Oprah Winfrey that her rock star father, John Phillips, raped her at age 18, sparking a 10-year-long consensual sexual relationship.

Phillips, the former star of '70s-'80s sitcom "One Day at a Time," said she was first raped by her father, the lead singer of the Mamas and the Papas, in a hotel room while passed out after a drug binge.

The relationship continued long after she married Jeff Sessler when she was 19-years-old, and ended only when she became pregnant and feared her father was the baby's father, Phillips said. Her father, she said, paid for an abortion.

Reading an excerpt from her new book, "High on Arrival," on Winfrey's show, Phillips said of her first sexual experience with her father: "I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my father. I don't know how it started." media: 18122868

quicklist: 5title: Tyler Perrytext: After watching a screening of the movie "Precious," which he executive produced with Oprah Winfrey, media mogul Tyler Perry revealed that it was like "a large part of my childhood had just played out before my eyes."

"I always thought I would die before I grew up," he wrote in a 2009 uncharacteristically somber letter to fans on his website.

In the letter, Perry recounted a horrific list of beatings and hardships, including the time his father whipped him with the vacuum cleaner extension cord "until the skin was coming off my back."

He also revealed that he was sexually molested by a number of adults, both male and female.

Later, in a 2010 interview with Winfrey, he recalled trying to commit suicide as an 11-year-old child and later as a 22-year-old adult trying to launch his first stage play, "I Know I've Been Changed," based on his traumatic childhood. media: 18122950

quicklist: 6title: Oprah Winfreytext: On November 10, 1986, while doing a show with sexual abuse victims and their molesters, Winfrey revealed to her audience that she had been raped by a relative when she was 9 years old.

The media mogul has said the abuse by that relative -- and others -- went on until she was 13 and led to her sexual promiscuity, which resulted in a pregnancy at age 14. Winfrey gave birth to a baby boy who died in infancy.

Since that first show, Winfrey has become an advocate for sexual abuse survivors.

During her recent interview with David Letterman, Winfrey told the "Late Show" host, "Anybody who has been verbally abused or physically abused will spend a great deal of their life rebuilding their esteem."

He responded: "You're an extraordinary person who lived through hell. You were not consumed, you prevailed."media: 18122981

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