Oprah Winfrey is delving deeper into the traumatizing experience of being raped by an older relative as a child.
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On the first episode of the new AppleTV+ series, The Me You Can’t See, the 67-year-old broke down in tears as she retold the trauma.
“At nine and 10 and 11 and 12 years old, I was raped by my 19-year-old cousin,” Winfrey revealed. “I didn’t know what rape was. I certainly wasn’t aware of the word. I had no idea what sex was, I had no idea where babies came from, I didn’t even know what was happening to me.”
She continued, “It’s just something I accepted,” going on to say the experience taught her “that a girl child ain’t safe in a world full of men.”
“The telling of the story, the being able to say out loud, ‘This is what happened to me,’ is crucial,” she said.
Oprah has spoken about this incident before, first revealing t the abuse she endured at the hands of her unnamed relative in 1986. The groundbreaking moment occurred on an episode of her talk show dealing with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their abusers. At the time, she also revealed that she had been sexually abused by a boyfriend of her mother’s.
”For the longest time, I carried this burden around with me and was afraid to tell anybody because I thought it was my fault,” she told the New York Times that same year.
Earlier this week, Winfrey spoke about being physically abused by her grandmother, telling Hoda Kotb on TODAY that, “It is because I was raised poor, and no running water, and going to the well, and getting whippings that I have such compassion for people who have experienced it.”
She continued, “It has given me a broader understanding and a deeper appreciation for every little and big thing that I now have.”