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Vanessa Williams has always been quiet about being molested as a child and now she’s bravely opened up about being molested by an 18-year-old family friend when she was 10-years-old. In an interview with PEOPLE, Williams said the girl came to her room and “pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pajamas. I lay there paralyzed. What was I going to do?”

Vanessa opened up because she’s prepping for her memoir, You Have No Idea. Although most people who suffer through molestation deal with a lifetime of issues, Vanessa maintains that the molestation has not screwed her up mentally or emotionally. The Desperate Housewives actress tells PEOPLE, “It didn’t paralyze me, and I don’t dwell,”  She went on to say that it did cause her to act more rebellious and “pull away” from her parents as a youngster.

It’s great that she’s opening up about it. This type of disclosure takes a lot of courage.

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