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Vanessa Williams

I Was Molested as a Child

4/17/2012 10:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Vanessa Williams
says she was sexually abused as a 10-year-old girl ... and believes the traumatizing experience caused her to become "highly sexualized" at an abnormally young age.

Williams dropped the bombshell in her new book, "You Have No Idea" ... explaining how an 18-year-old woman molested her during a family trip with friends.

The "Desperate Housewives" actress opened up about the experience to "Nightline" ... saying, "It happened one night where she told me, 'come over here,' I didn't know that it was wrong, but I knew that it wasn't right because I wasn't supposed to tell anybody."

"I think I was highly sexualized because I was in fifth grade and I had this experience. 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."

In her book, Williams also reveals she had an abortion during her high school years ... but kept it a secret from everyone, including her mother, because she was scared.

Williams went on to become the first black Miss America in 1984 ... but was shamed into giving up her crown after several nude pictures appeared in Penthouse. Williams says she stupidly trusted the photographer when he promised to keep them private.

Now the actress is focused on moving forward saying, "I've learned to embrace my past. I embrace the choices that I have been given in my life."

76 COMMENTS

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1.

kadengirl    

sad, but you go girl - you're beautiful.

835 days ago
2.

Throwback kid    

And she waited until she was almost 50 and her acting career had cooled down to tell everyone? In those Penthouse photos with Vanessa's face in another girls muff it looked like Vanessa was all over her

835 days ago
3.

ApoloKreedEatsFriedRiceOnAnyGivenSunday    

sad .. and hot at the same time

835 days ago
4.

Ace    

Highly sexualized is a good thing. Cause most girls are duds.

835 days ago
5.

Stormy    

Why do so many fading celebs claim this type of thing?! Oh Yea! Keeps their name on TMZ, in hopes of getting more work. Pathetic!

835 days ago
6.

Sashatree    

I've known Vanessa since high school. She is a wonderful person and is very down to earth. Everyone in Chappaqua loves her! I'm sorry to read about her being molested, but glad that she chose to share it because it may help others. She's not only talented and beautiful, she's an amazing mother and does a lot to raise money for charities. I'm proud to say I know her! Keep on being your wonderful self, Vanessa!

835 days ago
7.

Ann    

How is this breaking news? She's been talking about it for a month.

835 days ago
8.

Celeb Gossip Addict    

Weren't we all?

835 days ago
9.

Tatsno    

...and the book tour starts on.....

835 days ago
10.

Citygirl81    

I will say this, regardless of the Miss America thing, she probably the only one still remember by name! Love you Vanessa! It's soul cleansing when you can share something so personal and tragic. Thank you.

835 days ago
11.

jr.d    

This is everyone's excuse for failing at life. For many though, it is what gave them strength to succeed at life.

835 days ago
12.

who dat    

"Breaking News" is the new buzz word to repackage month old ****.

835 days ago
13.

jeff    

WAAAAHHHHHHH

835 days ago
14.

asddda8    

And why didn't the sex offender registry protect her? Oh wait, because that four hundred million dollar photo album protects no one. It does help you stalk your neighbors, though.

835 days ago
15.

EMP BITE ME    

Must have enjoyed it at 10,makes no difference,she could have said no to SEX,but she said yes,decesions are in your hand,i was molested as a 12 year buy another boy,i havent turned out gay?

835 days ago
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