Annalynne McCord opened up about being raped at 18 during a Wednesday, March 8, interview with the BBC. See what she had to say in the video above.
The 90210 alum, 29, decided to speak about her own experience on International Women’s Day.
“I was in my own home. I let a friend come stay at my place, because he needed to crash, and I woke up and my Southern hospitality, if you want to call it that, was being greatly taken advantage of,” the Atlanta native recounted. “I woke up, and he was inside me.”
McCord went on to say that the incident was so traumatizing that she froze in fear and was unable to defend herself. “For 10 years I thought it was my fault. I didn’t fight back,” she explained. “I found out recently through my studies of neuroscience that my body completely shut everything down and wouldn’t let me fight back because I thought that was the only way to cope with abuse.”
In the years that followed, the actress suffered from severe depression. “I became very, very dark. Suicidal. Self-harming — cutting up my arms,” she told the BBC.
Playing Naomi Clark (a victim of rape) on 90210 helped the star acknowledge the severity of her real-life encounter with sexual assault. She had previously suppressed the painful memory.
“I did months and months of episodes about it. I was into a second season of the storyline when I had a moment on set,” the women’s rights advocate recalled. “And what happened to me all came back in a flash.”
McCord told the BBC that she hopes her story will help other victims of rape and sexual assault to speak out. “You have a voice. Don’t put yourself in a box,” she said. “Don’t let the polite lies of society silence you.”
This isn’t the first time McCord has discussed the sexual abuse she experienced as a teen. During a September 2016 interview with Us Weekly, she said that it affected her high-profile romance with ex-boyfriend Kellan Lutz.
“He was so romantic [when we dated],” she told Us of her relationship with the Twilight actor, 31, who she dated from 2008 to 2011. “He did all this stuff, and I kept thinking, ‘What do you want from me? What are you trying to get out of me?’ But that’s what you do when you’re a hurting person, you hurt other people. And when you’re a healed person, you heal other people. And he taught me about love.”
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