In the new issue of Us Weekly (on newsstands now), So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy opens up for the first time ever about surviving a nine-year abusive relationship, during which she was repeatedly raped and beaten and suffered a miscarriage.
She tells Us Weekly her ex-husband - whose name is being withheld but who says Murphy's claims are "flat-out lies" - raped her for the first time three months after they wed.
"We'd had another jealous fight, screaming, crashing over furniture, and he said, 'I want to have sex,'" Murphy, 51, tells Us Weekly. "I was like, 'Are you kidding me?! We're fighting here!' He said, 'You're my wife, and you'll do what I tell you!' I pulled out a kitchen knife and screamed, 'You're going to have to stab me, because I'm not having sex with you!' He knocked it out of my hands, held me down and raped me."
Soon, she says, a pattern developed: "A fight, then rape, then presents: a dress, a diamond bracelet, earrings. In the first year or two, I'd fight back, but eventually, I'd just lie there. Get it over with, I thought. It'll be quick anyway."
For years, "I'd have black eyes and bruises," she tells Us Weekly. "But I never called the police or went to the hospital. I didn't want anybody to know."
She says she got pregnant around 1982. "But in my fourth month, I miscarried," she tells Us Weekly. "My husband was disgusted, saying I murdered our baby, because I'd done some light dancing the night before. I was sinking deeper and deeper at that point, just reeling into despair."
In 1985, she learned her husband - who was from a wealthy, prominent family in the Middle East - had proposed to another woman during one of his Middle East trips.
The news made her feel as if "I'd been hit by a sledgehammer," and after discovering that he had another girlfriend in Germany, she says she was "motivated" to finally leave him.
Murphy, who was teaching dance, eventually saved up enough money to leave and drove to San Diego, where she called her husband to ask for a divorce.
Says Murphy, "I faced him one more time to sign the papers, and then I never heard from him again."
For more on her remarkable story - including how she feared her husband would "kill" her, how dancing helped her become a "strong woman" and how she learned to believe in love again - pick up the new Us Weekly today!