Dancer-actress Julianne Hough, who plays a woman abused by her ex-boyfriend in the upcoming film "Safe Haven," has revealed she herself suffered abuse as a child.
"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," Hough, 24, says in an online excerpt from the February issue of Cosmopolitan, being published Tuesday. She declined to name anyone, saying, "I'm a very forgiving person, and I don't want to hurt anybody. What's past is past."
Hough, born in a suburb of Salt Lake City, was sent to London in 1999, at age 10, along with her brother Derek, to study at a prestigious dance academy. She says she suffered there at the hands of adults who were supposed to look out for her. At 15, she returned to Utah to live with her divorced father.
"I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer," Hough said. "I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love." The abuse worsened she said "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."
She stayed, Hough explained, because, "I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen. One: I was going to amount to nothing. Two: I was going to work at Whataburger. And three: I was going to end up a slut. So, it was like, I can't go back. I have to be this person."