Julianne Hough was mentally and physically abused as a child dancer

Julianne Hough on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine's February 2013 issue

Julianne Hough may seem like the All-American girl. She burst onto the scene a few years ago after landing a coveted role on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars where she quickly became a fan favorite and went on to win the mirror-ball trophy during season 4. Although Julianne has since moved on from DWTS, she has remained in the spotlight as a result of her booming acting career. However, aside from all her success, Julianne has been hiding a dark secret.

In the February issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine via RadarOnline, Julianne reveals that she was the victim of both mental and physical abuse in London after moving there from Utah to pursue a dancing career. “I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer,” Julianne admits. “I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy façade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love.”

“While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” she says, adding that she doesn’t plan on exposing her abuser. “I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.”

Julianne Hough "Footloose" interview

As for why she never told her parents what was going on, Julianne explains, “I’d rather take the pressure on myself. To this day, I don’t want to be a burden. I didn’t talk unless I was spoken to. I would look over to see if it was okay if I answered.”

Then, when Julianne was 15, she went to a concert where she heard several songs about being free and being yourself. Just days later, she had enough. “I was like, f**k that. I know who I am, and I don’t want to be this person who I am becoming. I left two days later and never went back.”

“I don’t want pity,” Julianne says of why she decided to tell the world of her devastating childhood. “To me it’s more about being that voice for people who don’t necessarily have a voice.”

Julianne Hough plays a domestic abuse survivor in the upcoming flick Safe Haven which hits the big screen on February 14.

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