Teri Hatcher spoke at a United Nations event on November 25, lending her voice to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and spoke about a painful event in her own life.
The 49-year old actress opened up about being sexually abused by her uncle when she was just seven years old, saying she was–like many victims–too ashamed to speak up about it to her parents.
“I was convinced it was my fault and I blamed myself for what had happened, so I didn’t tell anyone and I was silent. I did, however, unsurprisingly, start to act out and my mother decided to keep me away from my uncle. I didn’t see him anymore, but no one in my family ever asked exactly what happened. We remained silent,” she said.
Hatcher first revealed she had been abused back in 2006, when she gave an interview to Vanity Fair and opened up about her uncle and another one of his victims, a 14-year old girl who ultimately committed suicide because of what had happened to her. Hatcher said that when she learned of the girl’s death, she knew she had to do something. In coming forward with the story of her own abuse, she helped convict her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone, for 14 years.
“This is something I’ve tried to hide my whole life. I was just blown away by this young girl’s pain. I thought, boy, that’s really close to being me. Any day of the week I could feel that sort of pain. I haven’t tried to kill myself, but I’ve certainly thought about it,” she said.
The former Desperate Housewives star admits she was scared to come forward publicly at the time because she was worried it would land her on the cover of a tabloid. She also said she still carries around the pain of what happened to her after all these years.
“I have so much pain. I’m a woman who carries around all these layers of fear and vulnerability. I’m trying to be my powerful me,” she said.