Ashley Judd says she was a victim of sexual abuse and incest as a child.
In her new memoir, All That's Bitter & Sweet, the actress writes that she grew up depressed, having attended 13 schools before she was 18, while her mother, Naomi, and sister, Wynonna, pursued country stardom.
After her parents divorced when she was 4, Judd says she was first molested when an older man pulled her into a dark, empty store and offered her a quarter if she sat on his lap. Judd says she fought him off, but when she revealed the story to others, no one believed her.That incident of abuse was the first of many for Judd, who says an unnamed family member assaulted her during her adolescence. On Tuesday's Today show, Judd, 42, says that for a while she didn't know she was a victim of incest."That's what sexual predators do," Judd says. "They groom their victims and psychologically manipulate. ... They put that shame on me and [now] I put the shame back on those S.O.B.s"
She finally dealt with her emotional issues when she checked into Texas' Shades of Hope rehab center in February 2006.Judd, who has done philanthropic work with such groups as Women for Women International, hopes the book will encourage other abuse survivors to speak out.Watch Ashley Judd on the Today show: