Julianne Hough, former Dancing With the Stars Pro and girlfriend to American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, opened up to Cosmopolitan magazine about abuse she suffered, beginning as a 10 year old when her parents shipped her off to dance school in London.
What kind of parents deliver their kids, miles away, into the hands of strangers with very little supervision? This is a really sad story. Read more at Cosmopolitan.com
Hough is 24 now, and she’s been working on those goals since she was a girl in South Jordan, Utah. All four grandparents and both parents were dancers, so Hough, the youngest of five kids, grew up performing with her Mormon family. Her parents divorced when she was 10. At the time, her brother Derek was studying dance at London’s prestigious Italia Conti Academy of the Arts, and when a slot opened up, she joined him. She ended up winning a five-year scholarship, training relentlessly, and rarely seeing or talking to her family. She became a world-class dancer…but at a great cost.
“I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer,” she says. A precociously seductive smile became her public mask—and she rarely took it off. “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.”
With her parents an ocean away, Hough says the adults around her took advantage. “While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” she says. In what way or by whom exactly, she declines to say: “I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.” A ripple of tension tightens a face that is always so relaxed and bright, like a sheet being pulled tight. It got worse, she says, “when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl.”
“You can kind of hear the quiver in my voice….” She pauses but only a beat. She’s going to nail this move, even if her ankle is broken and her feet blistered. “This is the farthest I’ve ever gotten into my London situation,” she says. “I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen. One: I was going to amount to nothing. Two: I was going to work at Whataburger. And three: I was going to end up a slut. So, it was like, I can’t go back. I have to be this person.”
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