AnnaLynne McCord suffered her own private battle in her teens and early 20s, even as she portrayed characters as cool and confident as Eden on Nip/Tuck and Naomi on 90210. In the July 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan, the 26-year-old opens up about her abusive relationships and her ensuing suicidal thoughts.
AnnaLynne begins by describing her upbringing in her extremely religious and conservative family in Georgia, who paddled her when she misbehaved. After finishing school at age 15, she convinced her parents to let her pursue a career in modeling. At age 18, she was living in L.A., and agreed to let a male friend crash at her apartment one night when he said he needed a good night's sleep.
But she woke up in the middle of the night and realized he was having intercourse with her. "At first, I felt so disoriented and numb, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I wondered if I had done something to give him the wrong idea. I felt afraid of making him angry. Believe it or not, I didn't want to offend him. I just wanted it to be over. My childhood had come back to haunt me again: Because of the physical abuse, I didn't believe there were borders between other people's bodies and my own. I didn't believe I had a voice."
Struggling to process that violation over the next few years, AnnaLynne says she was nearly put over the edge by a tumultuous breakup: "I had pills and water in hand and thought seriously about killing myself. I didn't fear death — it felt like a solution. When you're in that mode, you don't think suicide is a selfish thing to do. You think you're doing everyone a favor."
Now, through therapy, reading, writing, and sharing stories with fellow rape survivors the world over, AnnaLynne says she's made a full recovery… and she enjoys "mind-blowing sex" with partner Dominic Purcell, which she says no longer causes her guilt or shame.
"You have a voice," she tells her female audience. "Don't put yourself in a box. Don't let the polite lies of society silence you. Honestly, I would endure everything all over again — it has led me to my own revolution."