Julianne Hough: I Was Abused As Child

Truth rating: 10

By Daniel Gates


Julianne Hough says she was abused as a child while training to be a dancer in London. The actress makes the revelation in the February 2013 issue of Cosmopolitan, which features Hough on the cover.

Hough, who plays a survivor of domestic abuse in the upcoming film Safe Haven, tells the magazine about the traumatic period when she was sent to study dance at the Italia Conti Academy of Arts in England. “I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life,” says Hough. “But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love.”

Her experience turned ugly. “While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” recalls Hough, although she declines to specify who abused her or in what specific ways. She explains, “I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.”

The abuse worsened when Hough “started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl.” “This is the farthest I’ve ever gotten into my London situation,” says Hough. “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.”

The actress worked through her emotions about the situation while filming Safe Haven, as director Lasse Hallstrom asked her to get into bed with co-star Josh Duhamel and talk, on camera, about some of what she’d gone through in London. “I went from bawling to containing to laughing to crying again. Josh was crying,” remembers Hough. “I think it was the most therapeutic moment of my life.”

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