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Vanessa Williams

I Was Molested as a Child

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

0416_vanessa_williams_sexual_abuse_bn_2
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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31.

Joe    

Amazing how stars Always remember they were molested as a kid when they have a book coming out.

814 days ago
32.

Sincerity    

Frankly, I have a great deal of respect for Ms. Williams due to her perseverance at making a living in the public eye following the disclosure of those Penthouse Magazine photos. She didn't allow the loss of her Miss America title to "CANCEL OUT" her dreams. She's been successful as both an actress and a singer. As she said in an interview many years ago: "Success is the best revenge"!!! If anyone has ever fallen from "great heights" and needs a role model to look to for inspiration, Vanessa Williams is certainly one!!!

814 days ago
33.

Jay W.     

Birth name Vanessa Lynn Williams
Born March 18, 1963 (age 49)

Still looks good !

814 days ago
34.

plsmitha    

Unless you were molested as a child, you should not make a comment about Ms. Williams' decision to speak about it. Psychiatrists will tell you that sexual abuse of children usually results in the following:

1) promiscuity/hypersexuality
2) becoming lesbian/homosexual (if perpetrator was the same gender as the victim)
3) asexuality (total shut down and denial of sexuality)

Stop being judgmental about other people and have some mercy and understanding--based on knowledge--not your personal opinion.

814 days ago
35.

TV Gord    

http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/vanessa-williams/news/288378

This was posted on tvguide.com more than a week ago. Thanks for helping to make the term 'Breaking News' so meaningless.

814 days ago
36.

punchypunchy    

Translation: My career is shot so lemme claim molestation

814 days ago
37.

xxxxx    

Geez it seems all the clebs were molested as a child

814 days ago
38.

Throwback kid    

I'm getting the feeling Vanessa is just trying to sell books, though she is pretty and has had a long career Vanassa Williams always came off as dull and pretty boring. There is nothing to back up this sex abuse claim, was a police report filed, did she ever tell this to a therapist when she was younger?. The first time Vanessa talks about this is to a book publisher where the goal is to make money? I don't buy this at all. I think Vanessa Williams has always had a problem telling the truth, like when she entered the miss America contest but forgot to mention she posed for pornographic pictures before she entered the contest

814 days ago
39.

Tay Tay    

I sense a book coming out. I have a question ms. Williams, Was your abused through the vagina, mouth or the anus?

814 days ago
40.

Mia     

Vanessa, you are fabulous. You had better work!

814 days ago
41.

justagirl    

Well I adore Vanessa and think she turned out pretty freekin awesome! Plus she is DA BOMB on Desperate Hoochiewives!!!

814 days ago
42.

Raejean    

I wonder why every star who has had a similar experience feels compelled to publicly share it. It doesn't occur any more frequently than in the rest of the population. Do you really think your experience was special or noteworthy or that we even want to know when we are just as likely to have our own demons?

814 days ago
43.

janiejane    

I am so tired of stars coming out and saying they were molested as young children when they are in their 50's? It makes you wonder why the story is just coming to surface? Not sure if I believe this story or not?????

814 days ago
44.

Anne    

Well maybe you can study a little more, and learn how to spell. That's positive...right.

814 days ago
45.

Norm    

She is one classy lady

814 days ago
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