Pamela Anderson has been a sex symbol since she burst onto the scene in the early '90s with Baywatch; before that, she was a model and spokeswoman, a career that led to appearances on shows like Home Improvement. But the actress says that behind the flawless beauty and sex appeal, there was a dark secret stemming from a childhood filled with sexual abuse.
Although Anderson has revealed before that she is a survivor of rape, she has never gone into detail about who her abuser was. But at a recent event at Cannes for her charity, the Pamela Anderson Foundation, she spoke candidly about her trauma-filled past and said her goal is to push for human and animal rights, for very good reasons.
"I did not have an easy childhood. Despite loving parents, I was molested from age 6 to 10 by my female babysitter. I went to a friend's boyfriend's house and when she was busy the boyfriend's older brother decided he would teach me backgammon which led in to a back massage, which led in to rape. My first heterosexual experience. He was 25 years old, I was 12...My first boyfriend in grade nine decided it would be funny to gang rape me with six of his friends. Needless to say I had a hard time trusting humans and I just wanted off this earth," she said. "My affinity with animals saved me, they came to me naturally. The trees spoke to me, I wasn't sure why I was alive, a burning question, a quest. My loyalty remains with the animal kingdom. I vowed to protect them and only them. I prayed to whales with my feet in the ocean, my only real friends until I had children. Then I realized humanity was suffering and our children were born perfect."
Anderson says that her fame has opened up doors that might not have budged for anyone else when it comes to fighting for her passions, particularly animal rights.
“I’ve had the ear of people like [Fidel] Castro and [Vladimir] Putin,” she said. “Russia stopped the importation of harp-seal products, which closed 90 percent of the market.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons