Hip-hop-turned-Oscar-nominated actress Queen Latifah was the victim of sexual abuse as a child.
In the July issue of Essence — on newsstands June 12 — Queen Latifah reveals that she was once molested by a teenage babysitter and the incident left her unable to form meaningful relationships as an adult.
“He violated me,” the 39-year-old revealed.
“I never told anybody. I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arms length. I never really let a person get too close to me,” Queen continued. “I could have been married years ago, but I had a commitment issue.”
Latifah says she didn’t tell anyone untill the death of her brother when she was 22 years old. “I had to get it off my chest. My mother felt terrible. She was kind of a country girl, so she wasn’t up on how slick people could be. When I told my dad, he said nothing.”
The Hairspray star says she blamed herself for the sexual abuse for years, but came to terms with it after seeking the advice of a therapist. “I was a kid, and I had no power or control over the situation. I really wish I’d had the strength and the knowledge to say something sooner, because I always wondered, Did he do that to someone else? But I accept that the time for action has come and gone.”