Vanessa Williams Talks About Being Molested at Age 10 by a Woman

Celebrity News Jul. 17, 2014 AT 9:30AM
Vanessa Williams attends an event on May 21, 2013 Credit: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty

Vanessa Williams revisited a painful childhood trauma on a recent episode of Oprah's Master Class on OWN: The actress, singer and former Miss America, now 51, was molested at age 10 by an 18-year-old woman. Williams, who wrote about the incident in her 2012 memoir You Have No Idea, explained that the abuse took place during a summer vacation to California before the fifth grade.

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Her abuser, Williams said was "one of the cool girls" who made the future star feel like a "grown-up." Detailing the harrowing ordeal, the "Save the Best for Last" singer continued:

"One night she came into the room where my friend and I were sleeping. She told me to lie down on the floor. And she took my bottoms off and she said, 'Be quiet,' and she went down on me," William said.

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"And 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."

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The incident, Williams said, irrevocably changed her for the worse. "It awakens your sexuality at an age where it shouldn't be awakened," she explained. "Had that not happened in my life and had I had an opportunity to have a normal courtship with a boyfriend at 16 or whatever... there wouldn't have been that shame that was always haunting me. It made me more sexually promiscuous and more sexually curious at a younger age than I should have been."

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