The Footloose star has gone public with her traumatising childhood secret in a new interview with America’s Cosmopolitan magazine, revealing she was taken advantage of by adults while she was a dance student in Britain.
She tells the publication, “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 facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love.
“While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything… (It got worse) when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl.”
Hough reveals her troubled past has inspired her to step up her work with non-profit anti-bullying organisation the Kind Campaign, and she’s in the process of establishing her own foundation too to lend advice and support to her fellow child abuse victims.
She tells America’s Cosmopolitan magazine, “I don’t want pity. To me, it’s more about being that voice for people who don’t necessarily have a voice… It’s important because there are a lot of girls who have gone through so much s**t and sexual abuse, and they’re fine talking about it. They’re dead, straight-faced. Then the minute they break down is when they’re like, ‘I just wish I had a friend to talk to.'”
And Hough, 24, admits being a role model to her fans and young relatives is what is inspiring her to do more to help others: “I have 17 nieces and nephews. The way that they look up to me is scary. I’m like, ‘Oh c**p! I better be an aunt they can be proud of.'”