Vanessa Williams opened up in last week's episode of "Oprah's Master Class" about the repercussions of being molested at age 10, saying the painful experience made her mature faster than she should have.
The actress and former Miss America, now 51, first talked about the incident in her 2012 memoir, "You Have No Idea," where she identified her abuser as a then-18-year-old daughter of a friend's family.
Williams said the teen was "one of the cool girls" who earned a reputation of always wanting to do "grown-up" things.
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"One night she came into the room where my friend and I were sleeping
. She told me to lie down on the floor. And she took my bottoms off and she said, 'Be quiet,' and she went down on me," William said on "Oprah Master Class." "I had no idea what it was, but I knew it felt good and I knew I shouldn't be saying anything and I didn't tell anyone. I knew it felt good, but also something that was not supposed to be happening."
The molestation had a lasting effect on Williams, particularly when it came to relationships.
"At that young age, having that happen to you in your body, it awakens your sexuality at an age where it shouldn't be awakened," she said. "Had that not happened in my life, and I had an opportunity to have a normal courtship with a boyfriend at 16 or whatever and have your normal first kiss, there wouldn't have been this shame that was kind of always haunting me."
Williams went on to become the first African-American to win the Miss America pageant in 1983, but she was forced to relinquish her crown in shame after nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine. Despite the scandal, she moved on to a successful singing and acting career, starring in the television series "Desperate Housewives" and movies such as "Eraser" and "Soul Food."
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