In the wake of Leaving Neverland and the allegations the documentary brings against the late Michael Jackson, the ladies of The Talk had a lot to discuss on a recent show. In true acts of bravery during the program’s Tuesday, March 5 episode, cohosts Sheryl Underwood and Carrie Ann Inaba opened up about experiencing sexual abuse as children and, perhaps most importantly, how they overcame it.
“I was sexually abused as a child and I had no other choice but to forgive my mother, even though she seemed resistant to taking any responsibility or feeling that she could have done something to protect me,” Sheryl, 55, began. “But I had no other choice but to forgive her so that I could survive, so that I could move on, so that I could heal and get better.”
Given that she was living with her mom at the time, Sheryl admitted that “it was very difficult to do.” She needed her mom to see that she wasn’t at fault in the situation. As People pointed out, Sheryl later admitted that her father “didn’t want to know the details at first” but, later on, was the one who had a hand in making it so she could move on from the situation.
Sheryl explained: “And what made it so that I could move on was my father saying, ‘I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, and I’m sorry I didn’t protect my child. I should have listened to you.’ … When people say, ‘Well, I didn’t witness it,’ you’re never going to witness it. They need it to be hidden … so that when you tell someone, you’re the liar. But I thank God that my father was slowly coming to a point quick enough for me to mentally survive this.”
As for Carrie Ann, the 51-year-old Dancing With the Stars judge had a similar story. She recalled having to forgive her own mother for not exactly being there for her during a time when she really needed support. Carrie Ann felt that her mother should have noticed what was going on but that, because she loved “the various people around,” that didn’t happen.
“At the beginning of the healing, when you start to recognize that you have had this experience, you want that apology,” Carrie Ann said, noting that she wasn’t exactly believed by her mom at first — which obviously delayed the forgiveness. “I understand that. At first that made me so angry. Why are you not believing me? And it made me feel super alone.”
Luckily, it seems, both Sheryl and Carrie Ann are stronger people because of what they went through and, hopefully, them sharing their past will help others.