Oprah Winfrey recalls being repeatedly raped by 19-year-old cousin aged nine

Oprah Winfrey recalls being repeatedly raped by 19-year-old cousin aged nine

05/21/2021

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Oprah Winfrey broke down in tears as she opened up about the horrific experience of being repeatedly raped by her own cousin when she nine years old.

The 67-year-old chat show host recalled the childhood trauma caused by the sexual assaults while speaking in her new mental health series, The Me You Can't See, which she created alongside Prince Harry.

During the first episode of the Apple TV+ show, Oprah explained that she didn't even know what sex and rape were when her 19-year-old cousin began raping her as a child.

She said: "At nine and 10 and 11 and 12 years old, I was raped by my 19 year old cousin.

"I didn't know what rape was. I certainly wasn't aware of the word.

"I had no idea what sex was, I had no idea where babies came from, I didn't even know what was happening to me. And I kept that secret.

"And it's just something I accepted. That a girl child ain't safe in a world full of men."

Oprah has discussed details of her traumatic history of sexual abuse before.

Speaking in her new series, the TV personality stressed why it is so important to share what happened to her.

"The telling of the story, the being able to say out loud, 'This is what happened to me' is crucial," she said.

Oprah was also subjected to to other forms of abuse growing up, including beatings from her grandmother and neglect from her mother.

She got emotional as she recalled how she was made to leave the only home she'd ever known and move in with her mother, a virtual stranger.

"The only thing that still to this day makes me cry, six decades into life, is the recognition when I first moved to Milwaukee from Attala County, Mississippi, and had never been away from my grandmother before and suddenly I'm put in a car and sent to Milwaukee and told that 'you won't see your grandmother again and now you're going to be living with your mother'," she said.

"A mother whom I didn't even know, really. Because my mother was a part of that great migration that had gone up north and left their children with the grandmothers."

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In the docuseries, Prince Harry opened up about his heartache and grief from losing his mum at a young age – and the toll the resulting trauma has taken on his life.

He sat down with Oprah to discuss his shock and pain, and how the Royal Family did nothing to help him because of their own old-fashioned ways.

The Me You Can't See is available on Apple+

  • Oprah Winfrey

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