Vanessa Williams Reveals She Was Molested by a Woman as a Child
New memoir tells all
In her new memoir "You Have No Idea," Vanessa Williams reveals, for the first time, details about being molested at the age of 10 by another young woman.
The actress writes:
Family friends who had a daughter invited me to visit their friends in California with them. The family we stayed with had two kids. Susan, who was 18, smoked, drove a car, and was the epitome of cool. (My friend) Nancy and I slept in the den. One night Susan crept in. She told me to lie down on the rug. I was confused. Are we going to play a game? As I tried to make sense of it, Susan pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pajamas.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked. ‘Don’t worry – it’ll feel good.’ I lay there paralyzed. What was going on? I didn’t speak. She kept at (the molestation) for I don’t know how long. She slid my bloomers back up and whispered: ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ I climbed into my bed, trying to figure out what had just happened.
For years I kept Susan’s visit to myself. I didn’t really understand until college. I was with with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted it out: ‘Oh my god – I was molested!’ After that trip I felt something change in me. I had always been defiant but I became a bit more rebellious. I began to pull away from my parents.
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While tragic, Williams tells People magazine in it's most recent issue that the molestation “didn’t paralyze me, and I don’t dwell.”
However, the 49-year-old mother of 4 admits that she informed and warned her children of the incident, telling People: “I was verbal about it so they knew what to look for."
The book is co-authored by Williams’ mother Helen and also chronicles Williams' troubled teenage years - she smoked marijuana and had an abortion - as well as gives details about the death threats she received during her short stint as the first black Miss America. She was later stripped of the 1983 title when once-private nude photos of her were published in Penthouse magazine.