Vanessa Williams may seem as though she has it all together today, but in the past? She had a lot to overcome. Now, for the first time, she’s going into detail about what happened to her as a child — and how it changed her for the rest of her life.

When Vanessa was on a recent episode of Oprah’s Master Class, she discussed what happened when she went on vacation to California with a friend’s family, and an older girl she met there took advantage of her innocence.

“This older girl was one of the cool girls who would say, you know, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s do that. Do you wanna try a cigarette? One of those things where she made you want to feel like you were a grown up, and that was what made her cool,” the former Miss America explained, according to E! News.

And one night during that vacation, the girl crept into Vanessa’s room after everyone was asleep, and the memory of that moment would haunt Vanessa for years to come.


“At 10 years old, I had no idea what it was, but I knew it felt good and I knew I shouldn’t be saying anything, and I didn’t tell anyone,” Vanessa said. “It felt good but also something that wasn’t supposed to be happening.”

Instead of telling her parents, Vanessa suppressed what happened and instead, it turned into shame and as she got older, she ended up making a few choices she doesn’t think she would have, had she never been abused.

“At that young age, having that happen to you and your body, it awakens your sexuality at an age where it shouldn’t be awakened,” Vanessa said. “I think that had that not happened in my life and I had an opportunity to have a normal courtship with a boyfriend at 16 or whatever and have a normal first kiss, there wouldn’t have been that shame that was kind of always haunting me. I think it made me more sexually promiscuous and more curious at a younger age than I should have been.”

But fortunately, Vanessa’s managed to put the incident behind her in a way that has allowed her to achieve huge success — and hopefully, her talking about her molestation will help other victims speak up and get help. Way to go!

Source: Oprah’s Master Class via E! News