Angela Bassett has told how she taught her two children about respect and boundaries at a young age after revealing she was molested at 12 years old.
The 9-1-1 actress spoke at the Rape Foundation Annual Brunch in Beverly Hills earlier this month where she disclosed her mother’s boyfriend touched her sexually while she slept.
‘I grew up as a young woman raised by a single mother and my mother’s boyfriend one night came into my room and fondled my breast and I woke up,’ she told DailyMailTV.
‘So experiences like that… fortunately it was not a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who was 12 or 13.
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Angela Bassett spoke at the Rape Foundation Annual Brunch in Beverly Hills earlier this month where she revealed her mother’s boyfriend touched her sexually while she slept
The actress, 61, said her experiences led her to teach her twins, Bronwyn and Slater, 13, about boundaries at age two
‘And thankfully, to have a mother who I 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,’ she explained.
The 61-year-old actress said she was able to find ‘strength’ and get over her trauma with the help of her family, good friends, and her faith.
‘I am a person of faith. My help cometh from the Lord, family and good friends,’ she said.
Bassett, who has been married to actor Courtney B. Vance since 1997, went on to speak about raising their twins, Bronwyn and Slater, now 13.
‘They are good – put the work in early. I had them making up beds at 18 months. I am not trying at 14 and 13 to get them to do anything,’ she quipped.
‘They are used to doing the right thing by and large. It is a joy, we’ve seen them growing so beautifully, so bright, so smart, so compassionately and you just want them to be aware.
‘Coming here today I was like, “I cannot go to church today, I am going to the Rape Treatment Center Brunch….”
‘It’s like, how much can you say? But you want them to know that this is out here, to be mindful of surroundings, of those you have surrounding you – both for her and for him, as well.
Bassett, who has two kids with actor Courtney B. Vance, went on to say she was able to find ‘strength’ and get over her trauma with the help of her family, good friends, and her faith
‘Since [Slater] was two, they tussled, and I would always say, “when a girl tells you no she means no. If she says no, she means no.”
‘I started that early because of experiences, experiences of friends. I know they’ll be in situations one day… and when a girl says no – both to him and to her – back up.’
Bassett, who won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her role as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It in 1993 and also received an Oscar nomination for the same movie, has spoken of her love for her mother, who raised her alone.
Bassett, who also appeared in Avengers: Endgame earlier this year, briefly touched on her childhood abuse experience during a Variety interview in 2018.
Without going into detail, she revealed: ‘I had brushes with abuse’, but her mother refused to discuss it afterwards.
She reflected: ‘As a mother if I put myself in her shoes, it was such a moment of personal shame… as a mother you have to protect your kid.’
The actress was the honored guest at this year’s The Rape Foundation Annual Brunch, which was supported by David Schwimmer , Eric McCormack. Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Endgame).
The Rape Foundation funds comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment for sexual assault victims – children and adults – including 24-hour emergency medical treatment and forensic services, advocacy, professional counseling, and court accompaniment; prevention programs that reach 12,000 middle school, high school, and college students each year.