Many might envy the fairy-tale career of actress, singer and “Dancing With the Stars” champion Julianne Hough, but Ryan Seacrest‘s girlfriend hasn’t always lived such a charmed life.
Sadly, the Cosmopolitan cover girl reveals in its February issue that she was a victim of terrible abuse as a child.
Hough’s tragic past informs her starring role as a victim of domestic abuse “Safe Haven,” the upcoming film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ novel.
When Hough was 10, she joined her brother Derek in London, where he was studying dance at the Italia Conti Academy of the Arts. (Their fellow “DWTS” pro Mark Ballas was also enrolled at the prestigious school.)
“While I was in London,” Hough admits, “I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” but refuses to identify her abuser or abusers.
“I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody,” she explains. “What’s past is past.”
“I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer,” recounts Hough. “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.”
It got worse, she says, “when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl.”
“You can kind of hear the quiver in my voice,” Hough tells Cosmo, acknowledging: “This is the farthest I’ve ever gotten into my London situation.
“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.”