Demi Moore Reveals Trauma of Being Sexually Assaulted as a Teen

Demi Moore continues to drop revelations from her memoir, Inside Out. Her interview with the New York Times hit the web weeks ago, and she opened up about her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, and talked about her struggles with substance abuse. These stories and more are in her book.

With the book slated to be released on Sept. 24, Moore—who is typically a private person—is becoming more comfortable with discussing personal aspects of her life. She recently sat down to chat with Diane Sawyer and viewers learned Moore’s childhood was fraught with trauma.

Demi Moore
Demi Moore | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Moore reveals sexual assault

Out of the many terrible things she was exposed to a child, Moore recalled the time she was raped at age 15. She speaks about how at age 12, she helped pull pills out of her mother’s mouth after one of many suicide attempts.

It wasn’t the only time she played the role of caretaker for her mom, Virginia Guynes. Sawyer discusses how after Moore’s father left—a man she didn’t realize wasn’t her biological dad until later—she was put in the position of looking out for her mother.

Going into her teenage years, Guynes would take her to bars with her “so that men will notice them.” When she arrived home one night, there was an older man—someone they knew—waiting inside for her. He had a key to their home.

Sawyer recounted what Moore wrote in the book, “It was rape and a devastating betrayal.”

After he assaulted her, he then said, “How does it feel to be wh*red by your mother for $500?” As Moore speaks to Sawyer about it, the pain is written all over her face.

When asked if she thought her mother intentionally sold her, she replied, “I think in my deep heart, no. I don’t think it was a straightforward transaction, but she still did give him the access and put me in harm’s way.”

Moore touched on her upbringing and relationship with her mother

Sawyer dove further into the book with Moore to talk about her childhood. In addition to having to move around a lot when she was young, Moore grew up with two parents who were alcoholics. Once they split up, and after the assault, her relationship with her mom grew worse.

She eventually dropped out of school and moved out at age 16. During her NYT interview, Moore said she left the day after her 16th birthday and took up with a guitarist. In the years that followed, she had a short marriage to musician Freddy Moore, and then ventured into Hollywood on her own.

It was there Moore not only fell into a cycle of substance abuse, but she continued to struggle with her sense of worth.

“When I was younger, I was obligated to be of service. I wouldn’t be loved if I wasn’t — if I didn’t give of myself. My value was tied into my body.”

For years, Moore had an estranged relationship with her mother, but they reconciled after Guynes became sick with cancer. Moore stuck by her side until her passing in 1998.

Sawyer and Moore will continue their raw interview

Tomorrow is the day Inside Out hits shelves, and with it, Moore is feeling a sense of relief. The second part of her exclusive interview with Sawyer will be shared tomorrow as well, and the two will touch on her career, motherhood, and the men in her life.

Fans and survivors are applauding Moore for her vulnerability and courage in speaking out about her childhood and sexual assault. Tune in tomorrow, as Good Morning America airs on ABC at 7 a.m. EST.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, assistance is available

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.