Julianne Hough: I Was Physically Abused as a Child

01/02/2013 at 04:45 PM EST

Julianne Hough in Cosmopolitan: I Suffered Child Abuse
Julianne Hough covers the February issue of Cosmopolitan
Courtesy Cosmopolitan

Mark Ballas

Mark Ballas

When Julianne Hough was 10 years old, she lived in London, away from her parents in Utah, studying dance.

That's when the abuse began, she says.

"I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she says in Cosmopolitan's February issue, on newsstands Jan. 8.

While attending the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Arts, she says the adults around her took advantage of her being without parental supervision: "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 façade because that was my job and my life," she adds. "But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love."

The actress, now 24, says the abuse became worse "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."

Her classmates included future Dancing with the Stars pros Mark Ballas and Julianne's brother Derek Hough, both also children at the time. They had formed their own pop music group when Julianne was 12 performing in the U.S. and the U.K.

Hough declines to say who abused her or provide other details.

"I'm a very forgiving person, and I don't want to hurt anybody," she says. "What's past is past."

But the painful emotions surfaced during filming of her latest movie, Safe Haven, opening Feb. 14, about a girl who survives an abusive ex-boyfriend and accepts the love of a widower, played by Josh Duhamel.

During one particularly difficult scene, she says, "I went from bawling to containing to laughing to crying again. Josh was crying. I think it was the most therapeutic moment of my life."

As for her own love life, Hough says that she and boyfriend Ryan Seacrest work to find time for each other around their busy schedules.

"We love what we do," she says. "We take pride in giving it our all, but then when we're alone, we really focus in on going to dinners and being extra-romantic and affectionate and just being there for each other."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters