Pamela Anderson shocked the audience in Cannes on Friday with the revelation that she had been the victim of sexual abuse.
The actress and animal rights activist was speaking at the launch of The Pamela Anderson Foundation when she opened up about her painful past.
“I did not have an easy childhood,” Anderson said. “Despite loving parents, I was molested from age six by a female babysitter.”
Anderson then revealed that six years later she was raped by a man thirteen years older than her.
“I went to a friend’s boyfriend’s house and his older brother decided to teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage, which led into rape,” the former “Baywatch” star said. “He was 25 years old and I was 12.”
The hardships didn’t stop there. Anderson went on to tell the audience that a few years later a boyfriend “decided it would be funny to gang-rape me with six friends. I wanted off this earth.”
Anderson explained to the audience why, at her lowest point, she fell in love with animals.
“This meant I had a hard time trusting humans.”
“My affinity with animals saved me, they came to me naturally,” she said. “The trees spoke to me. I wasn’t sure why I was alive – a burning question, a quest. My loyalty remained with the animal kingdom. I vowed to protect them and only them. I prayed to the whales with my feet in the ocean, my only real friends until I had children.”
Anderson, a spokeswoman for PETA, recently spoke out against a bullfighting protection bill in Spain, urged officials in British Columbia to outlaw shark fin products, and called for an end to the cruel events at the Calgary Stampede.
The 46-year-old also took time out of her busy schedule in the fall to run the New York City marathon, raising $75,864 for Sean Penn’s charity, the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
Thank you to Pamela Anderson for proving that despite even the most heartbreaking and painful experiences, we can choose to make a positive difference in the world.