(CNN) — Actress Pamela Anderson revealed Friday that she suffered sexual abuse throughout her childhood, starting at age 6 when she was molested by a babysitter.
The former “Baywatch” star talked about it in remarks at the launch of her animal rights charity — The Pamela Anderson Foundation — at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
“I feel now might be the time to reveal some of my most painful memories,” she said, according to the transcript posted on her online blog.
Although she had “loving parents” while growing up in British Columbia, Canada, Anderson said she “did not have an easy childhood.”
She recounted being molested between the ages of 6 and 10 “by my female babysitter,” and then being raped when she was 12 by the 25-year-old brother of a “friend’s boyfriend.” The man “decided he would teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage, which led into rape,” she said.
Coincidentally, the Cannes event at which she revealed the rape was a backgammon tournament.
“Needless to say, I had a hard time trusting humans,” Anderson said. “I just wanted off this earth.”
Although her parents “tried to keep me safe,” the “world was not a safe place,” she said. Her mother was busy working two waitressing jobs, she said.
“My mom was always crying,” she said.
She never told her mother about the molestation and rapes because “I couldn’t (bear) to give her any more disruptive information,” she said. “I couldn’t break her heart any more than it was breaking.”
Anderson, now 46, said her love for animals save her.
“My loyalty remained with the animal kingdom,” she said. “I vowed to protect them and only them. I prayed to the whales with my feet in the ocean. My only real friends, till I had children.”
Before her acting career took off, Anderson started her career as a Playboy centerfold, appearing on 13 covers of the magazine starting in 1989.