In an exclusive new interview with Closer Weekly, Kelly Le Brock opens up about overcoming adversity and finding her purpose in life. Despite shooting to fame in her first film, 1984’s The Woman in Red, the 57-year-old’s life has had its challenges — like the abusive behavior she had to endure while working as an actress and model in Hollywood, which she’s dealt with by working for the United Nations to help end violence against women. She also weathered a tumultuous 90s divorce from her Hard to Kill co-star Steven Seagal.

“I decided to quit Hollywood to raise my babies away from the limelight,” she told Closer. “I didn’t want them looking into any of the negative aspects of my divorce [from Steven]. So I ran for the hills, and I’ve basically been living in the wilderness [of Southern California] with no TV for 24 years!”

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Kelly and Steven in 1992.

What’s seen her through the tough times, she said, has been her three kids with Steven — Annaliza, 30, Dominic, 27, and Arissa, 24, who co-stars with Kelly on Lifetime’s modeling reality show, Growing Up Supermodel, which debuted on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

“Becoming a mom gave me purpose, resilience, and a reason to get up in the morning,” Kelly said. “And sexiness comes from experience, not being young, so I feel sexier than ever!” So what made her come back to do a reality show? “Well, when you get to my age, you grow some balls,” she joked. “When I was touted as a sex symbol and beautiful and blah, blah, blah, the irony is that I didn’t feel it. Now that I’m more mature and wrinkled — I actually do have wrinkles! — I’m much more comfortable in my skin. I’m happy with who I am and where I am.”

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Kelly, Steven, and one of their children.

As for Kelly’s relationship with ex-husband Steven, she said there has been no progress there. “It’s been very sad, because it affects the children. But I’ve been married three times so far, and my attitude is, “Never give up!”

For more on Kelly, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and sign up for our newsletter!