Press Trust Of India
March 31, 2011 18:14 IST
Hollywood actress and activist Ashley Judd has spoken for the first time about the sexual abuse suffered by her as a child at the hands of various men, including a family member, in her memoir All That Is Bitter
The 42-year-old who was once the highest paid actress in Hollywood suffered a traumatic childhood and once
considered taking her own life, she said in the memoir, reported Daily Mail online.
The actress who has worked to promote AIDS awareness in third world countries like India, says that she went to 13 different schools between ages five and 18 and grew up with depression and loneliness as her singer mother Naomi and sister Wynonna travelled around the US trying to make a name for themselves as country singers.
The Double Jeopardy star's parents divorced when she was four-years-old and the actress was first faced with abuse while still a pre-teen, growing up in Kentucky. In the book the Golden Globe nominated actress recalls in graphic detail being molested by a old man who lured her into an empty store, promising a quarter to play a pinball machine.
She managed to fight the perpetrator off but when she revealed her trauma to adults in her life, no one believed her which left her devastated, writes Judd. Added to it was her mother's volatile relationships with men and the actress writes that she was exposed to inappropriate sexuality at an early age.
The actress who was thrice a part of The 50 Most Beautiful People In The World list compiled by People Magazine, said her early life was peppered with incidents of abuse, including a rape attempt while she was modelling in Japan.
Judd says she still suffers from bouts of deep depression and explains in her book that she finally decided
to get help for her emotional issues and checked herself into Shades of Hope rehab centre in Texas.
Judd writes that during her stay at the compound, her therapy sessions revealed suppressed memories of childhood incest suffered at the hands of a family member, although she does not name the relative.
The actress said that she wrote the book to encourage other abuse survivors to speak out without feeling shame. The book has already received words of support from her famous friends like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Morgan Freeman.
Having starred in numerous films, Judd retreated from the limelight after marrying Scottish race car driver Dario Franchitti in 2001.
The couple now split their time between Franchitti's native Scotland and a farm in Tennessee on a large estate that Judd shares with her mother and sister.