Although it may be more common among women, we aren’t the only ones who are sexually assaulted. In a bold move, these celebrity men who were sexually assaulted opened up about their own abuse, helping to relieve some of the stigma around male sexual assault.
Shia LaBeouf has been making headlines lately and it’s not because of a new movie he’s starring in. The former child star recently revealed that he had been sexually assaulted back in February after taking part in a performance piece at an art gallery. “One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for 10 minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me,” LaBeouf wrote in “Dazed” magazine. The woman reportedly ran out before anyone could stop her, but LaBeouf has received anything but support after his revelation with many questioning why he didn’t stop the assault from happening.
Tyler Perry is one of the most powerful people in Black Hollywood now but growing up, his future didn’t look so bright. During an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the filmmaker admitted that four different adults had sexually assaulted him as a child. Perry revealed that he was left feeling sexually confused and the feeling remained with him well into adulthood. “I knew I liked the little girls in the neighborhood, but this man was doing something to me and my body kept betraying me,” he said. “It took me all of my 20s to figure out what this was that this man had given me to carry inside of my heterosexuality that did not belong to me.”
Rapper DMX became very popular back in the late 90’s and he was especially popular with the ladies. Dark Man X fathered 12 children both with his wife and with other women outside of the marriage. But the “Get At Me Dog” rapper revealed that one of his baby mamas allegedly sexually assaulted him. “She raped me,” DMX said. “I mean, you know, that might sound like some bullsh*t. No man has ever been… you know what I mean, like never? Is that the only thing in the world that’s not possible?”
Antwone Fisher was born in a woman’s prison and his life got much worse before it got better. Fisher grew up spending much of his childhood in foster care. For 14 years he lived with one specific family and was abused mentally, physically and sexually for much of his time there. After joining the army, the Cleveland, OH, native wrote an autobiography about his life and turned it into a screenplay. Denzel Washington ended up directing and starring in the self-titled film.
You may not know his name but you probably know Chris Gardner’s story. While establishing his career as a stockbroker, Gardner did his best to juggle fatherhood while being homeless. But long before he was an adult living on the streets, the future best-selling author was raped as a boy. Years later Gardner tracked down his rapist and repaid him with a cinder block to the head. His memoir, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” was turned into the 2006 film of the same name starring Will Smith.
R. Kelly may be one of the greatest songwriters/producers of his time but he had a rough childhood. In his 2012 autobiography, the R&B superstar revealed that he grew up in a house full of women who would walk around the house half naked. One particular woman had young Robert Kelly take photos of her and her partner having sex. Another woman began sexually abusing R. Kelly when he was just 10 years old. The abuse lasted for several years and Kellz admitted that he felt ashamed about the molestation.
Charlamagne Tha God
Radio personality Charlamagne Tha God is used to speaking his mind freely but a few years ago he made a very shocking and revealing confession on Twitter. The Power 105 personality tweeted that he was sexually assaulted at just eight years old. A 20-year-old woman performed oral sex on the future radio shock jock and he suggested the incident left him with some unresolved feelings decades later.
As a correspondent and anchor for CNN, Don Lemon is used to covering the news and conducting interviews. But a couple years ago, Lemon revealed something very personal about himself while interviewing a couple of young men who had accused Atlanta mega-church pastor Eddie Long of sexually abusing them. Lemon spoke about his experience being sexually abused as a child. He also made the point that child abusers don’t fit a certain profile and come in many shapes and sizes and even in the form of a friend or family member.
Rahsaan Patterson’s big break came when he was very young and was cast on “Kids Incorporated.” He successfully made the transition from a singer to actor but it took him years to admit that he had been molested. The sexual abuse started when Patterson was just six years old. “There was a feeling of powerlessness. In my case, it was violent and there was bullying attached to it,” the “6 AM” singer said. “It created the fear of ‘Don’t tell anybody, or I’ll really hurt you.’ It was an ongoing thing, and it happened in church, often.”
Child star Corey Feldman became a household name soon after starring in the 1987 film “The Lost Boys” alongside Corey Haim. He shot to instant stardom and enjoyed a successful career early on in his life but behind closed doors older men in Hollywood sexually abused him. Feldman chronicled the abuse he and Haim were forced to endure in his autobiography last year. Haim died of pneumonia back in 2010 after 15 failed rehab stints.
After almost 40 years in the music industry, Carlos Santana saw a resurgence in his career with his 1999 smash album “Supernatural.” Up for ten Grammys, instead of talking about his comeback the Latin rocker shocked the world when he revealed that he had been sexually abused as a child. Santana fell victim at the hands of an older man who would travel with the young boy from Mexico to the U.S. just to buy him toys. The abuse ended several years later when the older man caught Santana with a new girlfriend.
Tom Arnold played a child molester in the 2008 film “Gardens of the Night” but for the comedian the role was more than another check. It was a chance for Arnold to come to terms with his own sexual abuse. From the ages of 4 to 7, Arnold was molested by his 19-year-old male babysitter. “I was a smart kid, and [my molester] still got to me,” Arnold said explaining why he took the role. “So I wanted to portray a pedophile in a way no one has seen before in order to explain how these things can happen. I even wore the same clothes as him in the movie. Showing this guy meant so much to me.”
English actor Tim Roth made a name for himself in Great Britain before he found an audience here in the U.S. Growing up in London, the “Pulp Fiction” star was sexually abused as a child but he refused to let that define him. “It happened during my childhood up to my early teens and although I’m not going to say who it was, he’s long gone now – and I hasten to add it wasn’t my father or mother,” Roth said. “Things happen to you in your life, but you don’t want to consider yourself to be a victim; you want to be a survivor and the first thing that helps you do that and helps you get through it is speaking and finding your voice.”
Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright knew he was gay at an early age. When he was 14 years old, Wainwright picked up a random man at a bar and they went to London’s Hyde Park for what the teen thought would be a romantic stroll. But the stranger ended up raping and robbing Wainwright before trying to strangle him. He survived only by being epileptic and faking a seizure.
Scott Weiland became an international star as the Stone Temple Pilots frontman. He’s lived a very public life filled with ups and downs and a few rehab stints to kick his heroin habit. During a session with his therapist, Weiland finally revealed that he had been raped as a 12-year-old boy. His assailant was a high school senior who tricked a young Weiland into coming over his house where he was raped. “This is a memory I suppressed until only a few years ago when, in rehab, it came flooding back,” the rocker wrote in his memoir. “Therapy will do that to you.”