Vanessa Williams is speaking out about being molested by an 18-year-old girl at the age of 10 and the negative psychological impact the experience had on her.
"She was one of the cool girls," Vanessa reveals on Oprah's Master Class of the friend of a friend. "She made you want to feel like you were a grown-up."
The incident happened the summer before the actress entered fifth grade, when she accompanied her friend's family on a trip to California.
As Vanessa slept, the girl sneaked into her bedroom. "She told me to lie down on the floor. She took my bottoms off and she said, 'Be quiet,'" the 51-year-old remembers. "She went down on me."
The former Miss America shares she was conflicted about the encounter. "I knew it felt good, but was also something that was not supposed to be happening," she says.
While Vanessa had wanted to tell her family, a tragedy at home diminished her courage.
"I saw my dad's face and his face was gray. And I just found out that his brother had died," the Ugly Betty star recalls of getting off the plane.
Vanessa claims the molestation severely affected her sexual development. "It awakens your sexuality at an age where it shouldn't be awakened," she admits.
"Had that not happened in my life and had 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," Vanessa explains.
She adds, "It made me more sexually promiscuous and more sexually curious at a younger age than I should have been."
Below, Vanessa shares her story in a clip from Oprah's Master Class:
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