“Desperate Housewives” actress Vanessa Williams dazzled on the red carpet last night for the Broadway premiere of Evita. She looked fab in a sparkling bronze top, which she paired with a metallic leopard print skirt and blazer with chain trim.
But while Vanessa looked happy on the red carpet, she recently revealed a tragic event from her childhood in her new memoir, You Have No Idea.
Co-written by her mom Helen, Vanessa talked openly about being molested when she was just 10-years-old by an 18-year-old female family friend.
‘Family friends who had a daughter invited me to visit their friends in California with them. The family we stayed in had two kids.’
Describing her attacker she said: ‘Susan, who was 18, smoked, drove a car and was the epitome of cool. [My friend] Nancy and I slept in the den. One night Susan crept in.’ ‘She told me to lie down on the rug. I was confused. Are we going to play a game? As I tried to make sense of it, Susan pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pajamas. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Don’t worry – it’ll feel good”
‘I lay there paralyzed. What was going on? I didn’t speak. She kept at [the molestation] for I don’t know how long. She slid my bloomers back up and whispered: “Don’t tell anyone.”’
Vanessa says she didn’t realize she had been abused until she was in college.
‘For years I kept Susan’s visit to myself. I didn’t really understand until college. I was with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted out: “Oh my god – I was molested.”’
And as we all know, she’d go one to suffer another tragedy as her Miss America crown (she was the first African American to win the title) was ripped away from her in the 80s. Reflecting on that experience, she said, ‘It was part of my journey that led me to them and to where I am today.’