After being sexually taken advantage of as a young child, Carrie Ann Inaba blamed herself. For years following the heartbreaking ordeal, The Talk cohost revealed that she stopped wearing feminine clothes and opted for more of a tomboy look so her appearance would discourage “unwanted” attention.
“When I was a child, I was molested and I thought that it was because I was attractive,” the 51-year-old admitted during the May 31 episode of the CBS show. “You get a lot of attention when you’re young and you’re a cute little girl and people come up to you — men included, boys included — and sometimes the advances are unwanted.”
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Carrie Ann explained how she even compromised her self-esteem in order to prevent something like that from ever happening to her again. “I think because of that I really grew up kind of more like a tomboy,” the In Living Color alum dished. “I would look in the mirror and be like, ‘I like this,’ and then I would do something to make it uglier on purpose.”
She would tell herself, “‘Oh it looks too pulled together, this outfit, I better wear flip flops with this dress’ or something to make it feel less pulled together. I’ve always done that.”
The Dancing With The Stars judge first opened up about the abuse she suffered as a child over a year ago while guest cohosting an episode of The Talk. Carrie Ann shared her personal experience while the talk show hosts discussed a documentary about Whitney Houston that claimed she was sexually abused by her cousin, late singer Dee Dee Warwick.
“It’s true, I was molested as a kid and I feel exactly what you just said, there is a hole in me that I can never fill,” Carrie Ann bravely shared after cohost Sharon Osbourne said the late singer “was desperately unhappy” and turned to drugs following the unfortunate situation. “It’s so sad that she was molested. Being molested is such a horrible thing and it does affect you.”
This past March, Carrie Ann further opened up about her painful past and explained why it was so hard to forgive her mother, who was unaware of the abuse going on. “She couldn’t see things,” the TV personality said of her mom, Patty Inaba, during an episode of The Talk. “It’s not that she allowed it. She couldn’t see it because she loved the various people around.”
The Austin Powers actress insisted that her mother should have noticed what was happening. “At the beginning of the healing, when you start to recognize that you have had this experience, you want that apology,” she said, explaining that her mom had a hard time believing her.
“I understand that. At first that made me so angry. Why are you not believing me? And it made me feel super alone,” Carrie Ann admitted at the time. “But for me, somebody who’s been through it, you need them to recognize, you need someone to say, ‘Yes, I’m sorry it happened.’ You may or may not get it and if you don’t get it, you still have to learn how to forgive and move on for your own life.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).