Vanessa Williams Says She Was Molested as a Child

The actress opens up about the incident in her upcoming book

By Emily Feldman
|  Friday, Apr 6, 2012  |  Updated 7:07 PM EDT
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Vanessa Williams discusses the molestation in her new book, "You Don't Know."

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Vanessa Williams' upcoming memoir exposes dark details from her past.

The actress recalls being molested by a family friend when she was just 10 years old — an incident that haunted her for years.

Excerpts from the book, "You Don't Know," published in the current issue of People Magazine, reveal how a typical trip to a family friend's California home took a sobering turn.

It began when Susan, the family's 18-year-old daughter entered Williams' room.

"She told me to lie down on the rug ... I was confused. Are we going to play a game?" she writes. "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."

Susan told her not to tell anyone. For years she didn't.

"I didn't really understand until college," Williams said. "I was with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted out: 'Oh my God -- I was molested.'"

"After that trip I felt something change in me," she said. "I had always been defiant, but I became a bit more rebellious. I began to pull away from my parents."

Still, the 49-year-old star who moved on to record chart-topping R&B albums and establish a successful acting career, says the event didn't paralyze her.

"I don't dwell."

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