Vanessa Williams has been through some SHIT in life, man. She recently opened up to Oprah about the fact that she was molested as a 10-year-old by an 18-year-old daughter of her friend’s family – an incident which affected her for many years to come and which she believes made her more sexually promiscuous at a younger age.
“One night she came into the room where my friend and I were sleeping, and she told me to lie down on the floor. She took my bottoms off and she said, ‘Be quiet,’ and she went down on me,” she recounts again on the OWN show. “I knew it felt good, but also something that was not supposed to be happening.”
Williams said she was “conflicted” after it happened and wanted to speak to her family about it. But when she returned home from the trip, she discovered her father’s brother passed away, so she chose to suppress the incident.
However, she now realizes that despite her best efforts to forget about what happened, it found a way to bubble up to the surface.
“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.
“I think had that not happened in my life, and I had an opportunity to have a normal courtship with a boyfriend at 16 or whatever … there wouldn’t have been that shame that was always haunting me.”
I suppose victims of sexual abuse do go one way or the other – they can develop severe intimacy issues or become more promiscuous. Of course, there are others who are lucky enough to receive counseling and therapy and can carry on as “normal” a life as possible, though I think it always probably sticks with you in some way or another, even if subconsciously. It’s brave of Vanessa to speak out about these things – hopefully she’s found some peace in her life.
Here’s some video of Vanessa talking about the experience: