(NEW YORK) — In the cover story of the February issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, actress, dancer and singer Julianne Hough says she was abused as a child in London while studying at a prestigious dance academy.
Hough, originally from Utah where her family was Mormon, said she was 10 when adults began taking advantage of her.
“I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” she told Cosmo. “I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer.”
Hough, 24, doesn’t go into specifics about how she was abused or by whom, but says the abuse got worse as she got older.
“When I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl,” she said.
The two-time winner of Dancing With the Stars has decided to talk about her abuse now because of a character she plays in the upcoming movie, Safe Haven.
Hough plays Katie, a young woman living in a small North Carolina town who falls in love with a man named Alex, played by Josh Duhamel. Hough’s character is reluctant to start the new romance because of a previous abusive relationship.
While on set filming a difficult scene, Hough says, “I went from bawling to containing to laughing to crying again. Josh was crying. I think it was the most therapeutic moment of my life.”
The actress, who dates entertainer Ryan Seacrest, says she was told by her abusers that if she spread the word back in the United States, she would “amount to nothing.”
Now a successful country-music singer with more films in the works, Hough is riding high as a Hollywood triple-threat.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News
Kayla Nelson, Idaho State University Marketing and Communication