Celebrities who were victims of Child Sexual Abuse

Model-actress and television personality Padma Lakshmi made some disturbing revelations in her memoir ‘Love, Loss and What We Ate’, which was launched recently on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8.

The host of American reality show ‘Top Chef’ talked about a horrifying incident during her childhood. Padma opend up about being sexually abused by a relative of her then-stepfather when she was seven years old.

The incident happened in Queens, New York where she used to stay with her mother and then step-father in a two-bedroom apartment. At times she had to share a bed with the relative. “One night," she writes, "I woke up to his hand in my underpants. He took my hand and placed it inside his briefs. I don't know how many times it happened before, since I suspect I slept through some incidents."

"It was by no means on the scale of what many little girls and boys go through...," Padma said about the incident during an interview to a renowned magazine.

Indeed, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is not an uncommon occurrence, but victims often fail to disclose it properly and people who realise it, often turn a blind eye, and the truth regarding it is kept under wraps.

However, like Padma Lakshmi, some others celebrities have also spoken about being victims of CSA in order to raise awareness about the heinous crime that goes unnoticed.

Former Bollywood actress of Pakistani origin Somy Ali revealed in her autobiography that she was sexually abused by a domestic help when she was five years old. The former actress who is famous for her relationship with superstar Salman Khan during the 1990s, runs an NGO named No More Tears (NMT) which helps women victims of sexual abuse in Florida, US. She also shares about this dark experience whenever she visits universities in the US, and encourages students to prevent this thing and avoid feeling ashamed.

Acclaimed actress Kalki Koechlin who is outspoken and known to speak her mind, made the shocking revelation that she was sexually abused as a little girl during an interview with news channel NDTV. The ‘Dev D’ actress didn’t disclose personal details of her case, but said, “it’s not a one-day headline, it’s something that’s a reality I have lived with for a long time.” Kalki urged others who have experienced abuse to speak out, but also advised caution. "The problem about talking about it publicly is there's also the danger, it just becomes a shocking headline and somebody who has gone through CSA is not a headline,” she added.

Famous sitar player Anoushka Shankar revealed that as a child she was sexually and emotionally abused by the man who was trusted by her parents. The daughter of legendary sitar exponent Pt Ravi Shankar opened up about her dark childhood during the release of a video for global women’s rights campaign. "As a child I suffered sexual and emotional abuse for several years at the hands of a man my parents trusted implicitly. Growing up, like most women I know, I suffered various forms of groping, touching, verbal abuse and other things I didn't know how to deal with, I didn't know I could change," the 34-year-old sitarist had said.

American actress and theatres artiste Poorna Jagannathan, who worked in 2011 Bollywood film ‘Delhi Belly’, narrated her horrific experiences of sexual abuse as a child and as a young adult. In a video shot as a part of global campaign ‘WEvolve’, Poorna opened up about how she had to deal with an alcoholic father and later suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a family friend as a child. “My first encounter with sexual violence was probably when I was 9. There was a neighbour and family friend who got his hands on me. He obviously told me not to tell anyone,” she said in the video titled ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence’.

British model-actress Sofia Hayat, who participated in reality show ‘Bigg Boss season 7’, also had a traumatic childhood. The controversial starlet had gone on record and said that her uncle had sexually abused her when she was only ten years old.

It is not only girls who suffer Child Sexual abuse. Many boys are also victims of this shameful act. Noted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap confessed that he was sexually abused by a 22-year-old man for 11 years long years when he was small. The prolific filmmaker revealed about his dark past during an interview some years back. He also said he had forgiven his abuser as he was guilt-ridden when they met years later.