Pamela Anderson made a surprise confession at a Cannes Film Festival fundraiser last week when the actress revealed that she underwent years of sexual abuse as a child.
Anderson, 46, told the crowd Friday that she decided to disclose her dark past in order to explain her connection with animals and animal rights activism. She said she feels so strongly for animals because she, too, grew up struggling to trust humans, according to CBS News.
"I thought I might share with you events that, in surviving, drove me to this point right now," the former "Baywatch" star told her audience, according to a transcript of the speech on her foundation's website
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"I did not have an easy childhood," she said. "Despite loving parents, I was molested from age 6-10 by my female babysitter. I went to a friend's boyfriend's house and, when she was busy, the boyfriend's older brother decided he would teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage which led into rape — my first heterosexual experience. He was 25-years-old. I was 12."
Anderson said that abuse then continued in high school with boys her own age.
"My first boyfriend in grade nine decided it would be funny to gang rape me with six of his friends," she said. "Needless to say I had a hard time trusting humans. I just wanted off this earth."
The actress said she kept the abuse to herself because she didn't want to burden her mother, who was struggling with marital problems.
"My parents tried to keep me safe, but to me the world was not a safe place," Anderson said. "My dad was an alcoholic and my mom worked two jobs waitressing. My mom was always crying . . . I couldn't bear to give her any more disruptive information."
Anderson appeared at the event with husband Rick Salomon and son Brandon Lee, a product of her relationship with Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.
Anderson recently remarried Salomon after the two divorced in 2008
. She announced that they were back together again at actor Sean Penn's annual Help Haiti Gala in Los Angeles in January.
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