10 Famous Women Who Were Victims of Rape
Ask any woman you know which type of crime they fear most would be committed against them, and the answer will always be rape. Rape, after all, is one of the most, if not the most painful crime a human being can ever commit against another human being. It is not just a one-time crime that ends the moment the act is over. The actual act is only the beginning, with the victim later suffering years, if not a lifetime, of self-loathing, trauma, and in some cases, scorn from other people. And it greatly affects the lives not only of the victim, but of their families and loved ones as well.
History has proven that just about anyone can be a rapist. The news is often replete with stories of fathers raping their daughters, friendly neighbors brutally attacking the girl next door, etc. In the same vein, anyone can also become a victim. Just like these murdered celebrities, these famous women are a testament that heinous crimes can happen to just about anyone.
1. Billie Holiday
One of the most influential jazz artists of all time, Billie Holiday was molested at the age of 10. A few years later, she was raped by a neighbor named Wilbert Rich, who was caught in the act by the singer’s mother. The rapist was thrown in jail, but only spent three months there.
2. Fiona Apple
When she was 12, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Apple was raped just outside her family’s house. Her traumatic experience was subtly referenced in the song “Sullen Girl”.
3. Fran Drescher
The star of the defunct sitcom “The Nanny” was brutally raped in 1985 by two armed robbers that broke into the apartment she was sharing with her husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, who was beaten up and made to witness the entire ordeal. It took her many years to recover from the rape.
4. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah may be the one of the world’s richest and most powerful women today, but her childhood was, for lack of a better word, pure hell. On top of the poverty she was born into, she was also raped at the age of nine.
5. Kelly McGillis
In 1982, the star of “Top Gun” and a female friend, who she later admitted to have been her lesbian lover at the time, suffered a brutal sexual assault. Two young men broke into McGillis’ New York apartment, tied the two women up and threatened to beat them to death, and raped them both at knifepoint. This ordeal served as her motivation when she played the prosecutor who sent the rapists of Jodie Foster’s character to jail in “The Accused”.
6. Gabrielle Union
When she was 19, “Bring It On” actress Gabrielle Union was beaten and raped at gunpoint while working a part time job at a shoe store. The brutal rape and beating took place in 1992, years before Hollywood beckoned.
7. Connie Francis
Singer Connie Francis was attacked right at the motel where she was staying while performing at a music festival in New York in 1974. Her room at the Howard Johnson's Lodge was broken into by a still unidentified assailant, a fact which was instrumental to her winning a multimillion dollar judgment in the case she subsequently filed against the motel chain for failing to provide adequate security. She was so traumatized by the rape that she did not perform again for seven years.
8. Teri Hatcher
“Desperate Housewives” star Teri Hatcher confessed to Vanity Fair in March 2006 that she was a victim of sexual abuse by Richard Hayes Stone, an uncle by marriage. Her ordeal started at the age of five, and went on for several years. She never spoke publicly of the rape until she learned that a recent victim of Stone’s committed suicide at the age of 14. Hatcher assisted prosecutors with their indictment of Stone, who later pleaded guilty and was eventually sentenced to 14 years in jail. She is now actively involved in encouraging other rape victims to come forward and stop blaming themselves.
9. Maya Angelou
Celebrated autobiographer and poet Maya Angelou was eight when her mother’s boyfriend raped her. Unlike many rape victims, she readily told the rest of her family about her ordeal. Although the rapist, a Mr. Freeman, was eventually found guilty, his stay in prison lasted all of a single day. But justice outside the justice system was swift. Four days after he was released from prison, Freeman was found dead, apparently kicked to death by the poet’s uncles.
10. Tori Amos
Singer Tori Amos was raped at knifepoint by a male fan who asked her for a ride after a performance. Her suffering lasted for hours, with her attacker constantly telling her that he would bring her to his friends and cut her up. Amos says, “I survived that torture, which left me urinating all over myself and left me paralyzed for years.”.
Her ordeal served as the inspiration behind her song “Me and A Gun, while the very powerful song “Silent All These Years” has become associated with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN ), a toll-free help line in the US for abuse victims that Amos cofounded in 1994.
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