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Little House on the Prairie star Alison Arngrim discussed her life away from the set. One heartbreaking confession she made was that her childhood was a “living hell.” Here’s what she says her brother said to her after she confronted him about sexually abusing her.

Little House on the Prairie’s Alison Arngrim says her brother was abusive

Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie.
Alison Arngrim | NBCU Photo Bank

In her autobiography, Confessions of a Prairie B****, Arngrim talks about the abuse she says she endured at the hands of her brother, Stefan. She says Stefan was her babysitter when she was a little girl. The Little House star says she would beg her parents not to leave her alone with her brother, but they didn’t take her seriously.

According to Arngrim, the abuse began with Stefan “beating” her. She says the abuse progressed to sex when she was only 6 years old. Arngrim says she didn’t know what was happening to her at the time, and when she asked her brother about it, he would threaten her.

Arngrim says the abuse happened about three times a week and sometimes it took place daily. She says she was so distressed that at just 6 years old she wanted to move out of the house and get her own apartment. However, her brother told her the only way she could get out of the house is if she had a job. This is what prompted Arngrim to pursue an acting career. She wanted to be free from her situation and get away from home, so she began auditioning for acting roles.

Alison Arngrim’s brother gave a sickening response after she confronted him

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Arngrim says years later she confronted her brother about sexually abusing her. She says she gave up trying to tell her parents what he was doing because they didn’t believe her. “When it came to my brother, they never believed a single, solitary word I told them,” says Arngrim. “I had given up telling them anything years before.”

Arngrim says her brother didn’t apologize. Instead, according to her, he blamed his years of drug and alcohol abuse. She says he went a step further and told her he enjoyed what he did.

“He didn’t say he was sorry,” says Arngrim in her book. “He said: ‘Sexually molesting you was the greatest sexual experience of my life, and everything else has been downhill from there.’”

Arngrim was taken aback by her brother’s statement. However, she responded by telling him he needed to “get out more.” After this, she ended the conversation.

Alison Arngrim says Nellie Oleson changed her life

Arngrim says she’s grateful for the opportunity she had to play Nellie Oleson. She says playing this role helped her get out of her house and escape some of the abuse she says she was experiencing. “[Nellie] aided and protected me like no other creature, real or imagined,” says Arngrim in her book.

Arngrim also says playing the character helped her to become more assertive and stand up for herself. She says she went from being shy and afraid to “outspoken” and “in your face.” Arngrim learned how to advocate for herself and others when.

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.

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