“Desperate Housewives” star Vanessa Williams has penned a new memoir, titled “You Have No Idea,” wherein she speaks candidly about her adolescence, including that she was molested by an 18-year-old girl when she was just 10 years old.
“It was definitely a choice, because it didn’t need to be [in the book]. It happened one night where she told me, ‘come over here,’ … I didn’t know that it was wrong, but I knew that it wasn’t right because I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody,” Williams tells ABC’s “Nightline.”
She says she didn’t even realize the significance of the event until she was in college. And she never told her mother Helen until they were writing this memoir together. Williams also reveals that she became pregnant in high school and chose to have an abortion, which she also kept as a secret from her mother.
“Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life. I knew in high school that’s something that I was not prepared to do, or fight, or struggle with,” says Williams.
The memoir also talks about Williams’ Miss America title in 1983, which left her the subject of heated racism and death threats. And of course the subsequent relinquishing of the crown in the wake of a nude photo scandal.
“I’ve learned to embrace my past. I embrace the choices that I have been given in my life,” says Williams.
“You Have No Idea” is on bookshelves now.