Safe Haven Star Julianne Hough Reveals Her Past Abuse

Safe Haven‘ actress Julianne Hough explains how she can relate to some of the movie’s themes.

Julianne sat down with the new issue of Cosmo and opened up about a very private matter – mental and physical abuse.  If you’ve read the Nicholas Sparks book, you know that it deals with the heavy subject of abusive relationships.  Julianne, who plays the lead character, says the role was therapeutic, sharing for the first time that she was abused as a young girl.  “I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. 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. I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.”, she says of why she won’t give specific details about the abuse.

Julianne says her abuser threatened her, telling her she’d be nothing if she left to return to the U.S. “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.”

On why she never told her parents, “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. I was perfect – perfect to a fault.”

She described a tough scene with co-star Josh Duhamel, “I went from bawling to containing to laughing to crying again. Josh was crying. I think it was the most therapeutic moment of my life.”

Julianne says that her role in the film is what prompted her to talk openly about her abusive past. “I don’t want pity. To me it’s more about being that voice for people who don’t necessarily have a voice.”

Safe Haven hits theaters February 14th. Stay tuned later this month as we bring you coverage straight from the film’s movie set gathered during our visit to Southport, NC back in August, including a chat with author Nicholas Sparks. Have you read the book yet?  Are you looking forward to the movie?


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