Julianne Hough Reveals Mental and Physical Childhood Abuse

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.”

 

  • bridgette12

    That’s sad, who sends their ten year old little girl off to a foreign country without one of her parents going with her or making sure she had good reliable, trustworthy supervision there. I don’t understand why would they send her to London, when we have some excellent dance schools here in the States. Just because it was working out for her brother, don’t mean it was right for Julianne. Her parents put her physical and mental well being in the hands of people who were strangers to her. 

  • ReneeinCA

    Sounds like the family chaos of the divorce left Julianne and Derek to shift for themselves for at least a time. How sad a time for them.

  • http://twitter.com/cruzceleste Celeste

    They send her to live with Mark Ballas´s father and mother if I understand correctly. Dereck, Mark and Julianne were trained together in London, and even have a pop music trio 2b1g (2 boys 1 gril)…

    It is interesting that she say she was abuse  in London, this abuse could have come from the people who was taking care of her, the Ballas, or from the people in the Italia Conti Academy, either way I think her comments could damage some reputations… specially the Ballas…

  • http://twitter.com/shoriagirl Shoria

    It is quite typical for a person who wants to become professional dancer/musician or high level sportsman (especially gymnastics, figure skating) to have to attend boarding school away from home, unless one is lucky to live in a city that has such school.  Always sad that some people would take advantage of the defenseless kids. 

  • potatorocks

     I can only imagine what being alone in the competitive dance world at age ten must have felt like.  It requires physical and mental toughness that can verge on abuse with over zealous teachers.  I don’t know if she is talking about the academy or a specific teacher but I really wouldn’t be surprised.

  • tibitibis

    I was thinking the same , i guess everybody knows that the Ballas  were in charge of Dereck and Julianne while they were in Europe …..too bad if this put in a bad position the Ballas family …. in any case you just don’t send your little 10 years old daughter to live alone in another continent with strangers. :(

  • http://twitter.com/Miztig Miz

    Such a sad sad situation. My heart goes out to her.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NDYOWBIIPZU6PBRHGOPT2ZZJXQ sweetmm

    Wow wonder how Mark’s parents are taking this article?  I thought the Hough siblings and Ballas family are very tight until today!!!

  • tibitibis

    I just think the all story is somehow bizarre ? And she already talked in a not very nice way about Marks mom in the past so who knows what is the reality here :/

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    We know Julianne and Dereck are close with Mark, but maybe not the parents.   Behind many successes in dance, ice skating, and gymnastics you will find young girls leaving home to train.  Only they can tell you if its worth it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NDYOWBIIPZU6PBRHGOPT2ZZJXQ sweetmm

    What I gathered was that when Derek flies off to London he still meets up with the Ballas.  So I guess this news surprised me.

  • http://twitter.com/cruzceleste Celeste

    Really? Never have read about it… Can you provide a link to this quotes, please…

  • chillj

    I didn’t know that.  I think if Julianne is serious she needs to be more specific, because not being specific is damaging when there is really no charge.

  • tibitibis

    Look , to me what she is describing is the hate/love relationship between an alum and his/her mentor , a tough relationship where the line between the hard discipline and the abuse is very very fine …just my opinion of course. And yes i think she’s very vague on her interview leaving the place to people to have any kind of wrong interpretations and judgement to people close to her , like her Brother (Look at the comments at Yahoo ;/) and the Ballas family (Corky and Shirley ….
    She said “While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” , well people is interpreting that ”everything” in many ways and pointing fingers to people who is well know in the reality media and to a prestigious dancing school in London …so i think too she should be more specific … because if an investigation should be open, they gonna need more details.

  • tibitibis

    I don’t know if i can post the link, but she basically said ‘The woman she lived in London’ was very tough on her and make her strong in a not good way …..let me find the link and i will post the exact words  .

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    It seems that maybe Ryan (Seacrest) has a gentle nature which would make him the nicest guy she knows.  And the most romantic person, too.  I hope they will be happy together!