AnnaLynne McCord Opens Up About Sexual Assault That Led to Suicidal Thoughts
AnnaLynne McCord reveals a traumatic experience when she was a teen. In an article published in the July issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, the "Nip/Tuck" actress opens up that she was raped by a person she knew. She explains how the incident scarred her, led her to a meltdown, and pushed her to the brink of suicidal.
"When I was 18, I moved to Los Angeles to audition for roles," she recalled. "One night, a guy friend called. He said he needed a good night's sleep for a meeting, as he'd been crashing on someone's couch. I had known him for some time, so I said to come over and I set him up with a clean towel. We sat on the bed and talked for a while, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was inside me."
"At first, I felt so disoriented and numb, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I wondered if I had done something to give him the wrong idea. I felt afraid of making him angry. Believe it or not, I didn't want to offend him. I just wanted it to be over," she said, adding that she didn't believe she had a voice due to a strict, violent upbringing by her parents.
"And then, suddenly, my thoughts took a practical turn: 'I could get an STD. I could get pregnant. I have a boyfriend'," McCord continued. The now 26-year-old star kept the sexual assault secret at first, but she finally disclosed it to her friends and family.
"My friend's reaction surprised me: He was so angry. I realized I was allowed to feel angry too. I told another friend, and she burst into tears. Again, I thought, I'm allowed to feel like this. I told my boyfriend. I told my older sister, Angel. It was another step."
She, however, remained tormented. At one point, she even considered to end her life after having a big fight with a then-boyfriend. "I lay on my bed in a hotel in Madrid for days, feeling increasingly alone and hopeless," she remembered. "I had pills and water in hand and thought seriously about killing myself. I didn't fear death - it felt like a solution."
But she resisted and began her journey to heal herself by seeking professional help and channeling her energy into something positive like reading "books about psychology and philosophy," writing poetry, and working with abuse victims in Cambodia.
During her emotional recovery, the "Dallas" star had meltdown after she shot a rape scene on one of her TV shows. "When I was on '90210' a few years ago, the character I played, Naomi, was raped by someone she knew. I welcomed the story line, thinking it was important for viewers," she said.
"I memorized my lines and rehearsed the scenes. I felt ready to go. Then when the cameras were rolling on an intense scene - a fight with an unsupportive friend after the assault - I broke down, sobbing uncontrollably. My castmates thought I had done a great job playing the part. They had no idea that I had actually been sexually assaulted by someone I knew in real life."
Now she's in a much better place. "I visit Cambodia every year. This fall, I'm going on a college speaking tour," she said. "I have my family; we are all in touch. And I have a profound intimacy with the man I love, Dominic Purcell ['Prison Break' actor]. I have wonderful, mind-blowing sex with my man, and it no longer causes me guilt or shame."
Finally, McCord concluded with a message to women or anyone going through similar abuse, "You have a voice. Don't put yourself in a box. Don't let the polite lies of society silence you. Honestly, I would endure everything all over again - it has led me to my own revolution."
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