AnnaLynne McCord: I Was Raped and I’m Done Staying Quiet About It

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In a recent essay titled “Why I’m Done Staying Quiet About My Sexual Assault” for Cosmopolitan, 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord reveals she was once raped by a man she had trusted and how the incident almost drew to her commit suicide.

“When I was 18, I moved to Los Angeles to audition for roles … One night, a guy friend called. He said he needed a good night’s sleep for a meeting, as he’d been crashing on someone’s couch. I had known him for some time, so I said to come over and I set him up with a clean towel. We sat on the bed and talked for a while, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was inside me,” she writes.

“At first, I felt so disoriented and numb, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep,” she continues. “I wondered if I had done something to give him the wrong idea. I felt afraid of making him angry. Believe it or not, I didn’t want to offend him. I just wanted it to be over.”

In the essay, McCord, 26, explains that she didn’t disclose the rape to anyone until later because she “didn’t believe there were borders between other people’s bodies,” a mindset that had been instilled in her from years of being abused by her parents as a child.

“Around this time, I landed a role on Nip/Tuck. My character, Eden, was confident, sexy, audacious. But privately, I was reeling. I would drive to a secluded place, park underneath a tree, and write dark poetry on my arm, then slice myself with a massively sharp knife, rubbing in the blood,” she writes about her life soon after the assault. “Then one night … my attacker confronted me. We were at a club, and he cornered me, wanting to talk. I said, ‘You know what happened.’ He said, ‘What are you saying? What we had that night was beautiful.'”

“Later, a male friend told me my attacker was going around claiming I was in love with him. Finally, something in me snapped. ‘He raped me!’ I said.”

McCord, who’s now in a relationship with actor Dominic Purcell, says that working with Somaly Mam, a human rights advocate who helps rescue girls from sexual slavery in Southeast Asia, and meeting other sexual assault victims helped her move on from her dark thoughts.

“It took me my whole journey to get to the place where I am today,” she says. “I have my message for women and girls: You have a voice. Don’t put yourself in a box. Don’t let the polite lies of society silence you. Honestly, I would endure everything all over again — it has led me to my own revolution.”