Despite all the flashy Hollywood lifestyle she has now, Julianne Hough reveals that she actually experienced a bitter past. It all began at the age of 10, after her parents divorced, and she wanted to be a professional entertainer. The 24-year-old dancer/actress/singer admitted that at the time, she was suffering from childhood abuse.
To Cosmpolitan, Julianne opens up that she joined London's prestigious Italia Conti Academy of the Arts, where her brother Derek Hough was also studying dance, to pursue her dreams as a world-class dancer. Winning a five-year scholarship, she began training relentlessly and rarely seeing her family.
"I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer," she shares, adding that she often covered her insecurity with seductive smile in public. "I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade 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."
Julianne, who grew up in a Mormon family, dishes that she was abused by adults around her while she was ocean away from her parents. "While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she recalls, but refuses to offer details on what kind of abuses she got and who did those to her.
"I'm a very forgiving person, and I don't want to hurt anybody. What's past is past," she says. "When I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."
The Utah-born star goes on sharing, "This is the farthest I've ever gotten into my London situation. I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen. One: I was going to amount to nothing. Two: I was going to work at Whataburger. And three: I was going to end up a slut. So, it was like, I can't go back. I have to be this person."
Julianne will soon be seen starring in "Safe Haven", in which she plays a woman who was abused by an ex-boyfriend before escaping to North Carolina. There, she meets a widower and begins to learn how to love again. Of the film's story that has similarity with her own life story, Julianne says, "I told [director] Lasse [Hallstrom], 'There is a sadness in that room, something more complicated that the character needed to have. And that's what she has'."