Teri Hatcher Reveals Former Sex Abuse

March 8th, 2006 // 11 Comments

Teri Hatcher revealed on Tuesday that she was sexually abused by an uncle as a child but kept it secret until he was arrested years later for molesting a girl who ultimately committed suicide. In an interview with Vanity Fair we also learn that Teri has had suicidal thoughts, but has never acted on them because her life doesn’t suck now.

In an interview appearing in Vanity Fair magazine, Hatcher said she told prosecutors about her abuse in 2002 because she was haunted by thoughts of the 14-year-old girl who shot herself and feared that her uncle might escape conviction. “I was just blown over by this girl’s pain,” the 41-year-old television star told Vanity Fair, recalling she learned about the case from newspaper clippings.

“I thought, ‘Boy, that’s really close to being me.’ Any day of the week, I could feel that sort of pain. I haven’t tried to kill myself, but I’ve certainly thought about it, and then I feel guilty about thinking about it, because what’s so terrible about my life?” Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Chuck Gillingham credits Hatcher for putting her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone, who was then 64, behind bars.

“Without Teri, this case would have been dismissed,” he told the magazine, explaining that Hatcher’s account provided key corroborating evidence to establish a pattern of behavior. Stone, who was married to Hatcher’s mother’s sister when she was a girl, pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation in December 2002 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison after Hatcher agreed to testify against him.

“He pleaded guilty, and even though it wasn’t to my crime, it was because of my crime, and that made me feel validated,” the television star told the magazine. “That’s a victim thing; you ask yourself, ‘Am I just crazy? Did I make all this up?’ Somehow it might be easier to accept that you’re crazy and you made it all up than to admit that it happened, and how awful it was,” she said.

Hatcher initially kept her involvement in the case, which never went to trial, a closely guarded secret, declining to include the experience in her upcoming book “Burned Toast,” in part because she worried it might harm her career. “But I’m 41 years old, and it’s time for me to stop hiding,” she said.

Why is it that celebrities are so worried about something like this harming their career? She could have used this, as she is now, to help create awareness. Could this revelation have given us some insight into Ms. Hatcher’s apparent stick figure body issues?

“Housewives” star Hatcher reveals sex abuse [Reuters]

By Miu von Furstenberg

  1. malibuchick

    When she used to be a “has-been” it might have hurt her career. It would have looked “desperate” and “pathetic” if she had told this when she was just barely able to get jobs a few years ago. Kind of like “tabloid fodder” – she would have been a joke. Her career is more secure now and she can say whatever she wants and pretty much get away with it. All Hollywood cares about is if a star is bankable and then they forget the rest. Usually.

  2. malibuchick

    I’m not sure why she chose to tell it now, I do wonder if she’s telling it for the attention. Or if she’s telling this to educate the public and encourage others.

  3. Cheesy

    Looks like Teri is trying to take over the Pity Me Tour from Jennifer Aniston?

  4. Anonymous

    I am one of many women who has been sexually abused. I knowa couple of little girls who have been abused recently – some as young as 3 years old. There is no telling when we are able to divulge this information to the world. I told my family just 4 years ago and they did not take to it well. People resent you for disrupting the peace.

    We believe our whole lives that it is our fault that we would be raped at 10 by an adult. You cannot imagine the kind of strange ways of thinking we assume once abused. Think about a 10 year old or a 5 year old and what they can handle. Throw in an adult having sex with that 5 or 10 year old – it really disrupts and clouds your judgment on a lot of things.

    Maybe this is when Teri was able to “come out”. Thank God she did now that she is famous. People will be forced to talk about the issue more. It will change a little girl’s life somewhere believe me. I respect her for doing this. She has a little girl also and I am sure she is thinking this will help her daughter in some way. Speaking out is important. And speaking out to millions brings the issue home.

    Thanks Teri. I appreciate your candor and courage.

  5. chiccrap

    You go Teri! And you too, anonymous. The rest of you have no empathy, or interest in reading the article. Teri spoke because a kid shot herself in the head because of the same dude and Teri’s testimony put him in jail. So take your cynicism and fuck your sorry assed selves.

  6. timmons622

    I’m with Chiccrap & Anonymous.

  7. GQtaste

    Now that the fervor over Felicity Huffman has died down (she has a GG, an Emmy, and her Oscar moment has now passed), Teri Hatcher certainly dropped the molestation bomb at the right time! Child molestation is a serious issue. I doubt that she would make something like that up. But, as the past has shown, there are no limits to the lengths a celebrity will go through to keep themselves relevant, regardless of how “good” their career is perceived as being.

    Yeah, I’ve heard the arguments about how celebrities bringing up issue-related aspects of their life shed light on said issue and may produce some kind of public service. But, please, even though everyone goes through their own personal timeline to deal with their problems, the timing on this one stinks. Shameless, absolutely, shameless.

    Oh, and something else since it’s such a serious subject matter she’s bringing up… I think the cover of the mag is quite fitting, don’t you?

    41-year-old Teri looks sooooo sexy. Appearing provocative and discussing sexual molestation go hand & hand. The two go together flawlessly.

  8. Girll Power!

    TO GQ Taste:

    I really hate the argument that a woman who is a victim of sexual assault cannot be sexual. SO Teri should be defined by this horrific act? It is her body and she owns it. If she wants to get butt naked on a magazine to talk about molestation, all power to her. She is calling the shots now not her uncle anymore.

    It is the same argument that the court system uses to scare sex assault victims away from coming forth. The courts look at their sexual history, the dress they wore that night, how many men they slept with, how they carry themselves. Because it is on the woman to protect her body right? The man can’t have the decency to see a sexual body and not rape it?

    Give me a break.

    Timing? Who gives a shit if her timing is inappropriate ? For whom? For you?

    If she wants to use her painful childhood to bring herself abundance as an adult then hell yeah, bring it on and more power to her! She has gone through enough and it is time to stop judging people who come forward and time to stop judging their motive.

    I know cause I was abused too as a child. And I don’t let anybody define when and how and why I discuss my abuse. It is my time now.

    You go Teri!

  9. Laura

    GQ TASTE: so there are people who still think like you. Wow.

    Blame a woman for dressing sexy..they deserve to get raped. That sort of mentality. Maybe you don’t realize how dumb your comments were.

    A sexual abuse victim should feel the courage to be whoever they want to be and that includes being and feeling sexual. A horrible act shouldn’t take that away from her.

  10. plastictree

    i dont give a crap what Teri does it for, all I know is that it takes guts to come out like that, because i havent been able to.

  11. Girl

    Plastictree, I wish you strength and peace. It is not easy coming out when abused. It took me years. Do it in your own time. No pressure.

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