It is impossible to see the emotional scar tissue that resides beneath the surface of regal actress Angela Bassett’s beautiful exterior. But that healed wound is from being molested by her mother’s boyfriend during her prepubescent years that “devastated” her.
Bassett, who was nominated for an Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?, chose to speak because she was the victim of that heinous act and wants to warn her own children.
“it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13.”
The “9-1-1″ actress says she was empowered because her mother did not turn a blind eye and give her tacit approval of the molestation as, say, fellow Oscar-nominated actress, Demi Moore, who said her mother did the opposite.
Moore said her mother even went as far as to sell her out to her abuser during one occasion.
“Thankfully to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him…. That she heard me, believed me, and did something about it was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman,” Bassett told the crowd, according to Essence.
The award-winning actress has 13-year-old twins (daughter Bronwyn and son Slater) with actor and husband Courtney B. Vance. And she talks to them, she said, to “be aware.”
“They’ll be in situations one day, and when a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no.”
Bassett went on to say that blessed people have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act. And that means us. That’s why we’re all here today — to see, to hear, to learn and to never, never miss anything,” Bassett said, according to Essence.
“I wish there weren’t victims of such a heinous, life-altering crime. I wish we lived in a world where our children felt effortlessly protected, without any fear of someone violating or hurting them. But sadly that is not our reality.”