After Years Of Staying Silent, AnnaLynne McCord Opens Up About Her Sexual Assault

AnnaLynne McCord on Cosmopolitan June cover 2014I’m gonna need everyone to start a slow clap for 90210 and Dallas star AnnaLynne McCord, who just opened up in a very big (and brave) way about her experience with rape.

With the amount of stigma that our society puts on the victims survivors of sexual assault, there can sometimes be an incredible amount of pressure to stay silent about it. And when you’re a celebrity and the public feels entitled to the smallest details of your personal life, I can imagine that pressure only gets more intense. Which is why it’s so incredibly impressive that after years of staying silent about her own rape, that AnnaLynne has decided to share her story, in her own words, with the public in Cosmopolitan, in hopes that they might benefit from it.

I didn’t know this, but AnnaLynne says she was raised in an extremely conservative household. Like, not just to the point where you don’t have sex before marriage, but where you don’t kiss before marriage. Some Duggar shit, basically. And in addition to that level of sexual oppression, AnnaLynne’s parents also employed corporal punishment, spanking their children with a ruler in their younger years, and later with a paddle, when they didn’t think the ruler was strong enough.

This was an understandably confusing upbringing for AnnaLynne, and she rebelled against it, flirting with violence and promiscuity in her late teens. Since she’d been punished so painfully by her parents, she associated that pain with love, and brought herself to dark places in relationships. She did ultimately find a healthy pairing, but felt shame and humiliation over her decision to have sex with him. She was working on it…until she was raped by a male friend.

“One night, a guy friend called. He said he needed a good night’s sleep for a meeting, as he’d been crashing on someone’s couch. I had known him for some time, so I said to come over and I set him up with a clean towel. We sat on the bed and talked for a while, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was inside me.

At first, I felt so disoriented and numb, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I wondered if I had done something to give him the wrong idea. I felt afraid of making him angry. Believe it or not, I didn’t want to offend him. I just wanted it to be over. My childhood had come back to haunt me again: Because of the physical abuse, I didn’t believe there were borders between other people’s bodies and my own. I didn’t believe I had a voice.”

As horrifying as this story is, I’m just so glad that AnnaLynne was able to express herself so eloquently. This strikes me as a really clear-headed, self-aware description of what happened to her, which makes me think she’s done a good job of working through what happened.

She says she refused to talk about it when she was younger, because that was what felt strong to her at the time, but over the years, she’s gotten to a place where speaking out feels like strength, and that’s great. She says a lot more about her personal experience and what she’s learned from it, and I encourage you to read the whole thing, but bottom line, I’m giving huge props to AnnaLynne for doing the hard work to get herself to a healthy place.

“It took me my whole journey to get to the place where I am today. I’m 26, and I visit Cambodia [to interact with underage rape survivors who were sold into sexual slavery] every year. This fall, I’m going on a college speaking tour. I’ve started a website where I write poetry, TheAnnaLynneMcCord.com. I have a new role, on Dallas. I have my family; we are all in touch. And I have a profound intimacy with the man I love, Dominic Purcell. I have wonderful, mind-blowing sex with my man, and it no longer causes me guilt or shame.

Most of all, I have my message for women and girls: You have a voice. Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t let the polite lies of society silence you. Honestly, I would endure everything all over again — it has led me to my own revolution.”

Get it, girl. Thank you for sharing your story.

(Photo: Amanda Friedman for Cosmopolitan)

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    • Olivia Wilson

      I totally cried at the end of it. She’s very inspiring and I, too, am grateful that she shared her story.

    • bit.ly/OvY4xv go here

      sad

    • Vera

      I like her best out of that “90210″ crowd ever since I saw her in this creepy horror movie… man, she had to have guts to play that character.

      It makes me sad to learn of one more person having to go through this. I’m happy to hear she can talk about how she coped and the related charity work, though.

    • Emily

      Wow, this is such a moving, brave and honest piece. Really, really inspiring

    • Penelope

      I always thought she was so beautiful loved her on Nip/Tuck. To hear this now, just adds so much more to her character.
      “Some Duggar shit, basically.” #dead

    • Elizabeth Aspen

      I don’t watch tv so I’m unfamiliar with her as an actress, but have seen her on gossip blogs and I’ve always been drawn to her and wanted to know more about her. When I Wiki’d her and found out the work she does with sex slavery victims, I found a great respect for her. I respect her even more now for telling her own story. She seems like she’s done a great deal of healing and should be commended for that. What a nice person she is.