Susie Elelman may be well known for her bubbly TV appearances and confident red carpet looks, but she has been hiding a dark and painful childhood secret all her life – which she’s only found the courage to speak out about now.
The TV star, 64, has opened up about the moment she was sexually molested at the age of just six years old in her new book 15 Minutes Of Fame. In it, she admitted the boy – who she claimed was older than her and known by her family at the time – threatened to harm her if she ever told anyone, leaving her “fearing for her life”.
Susie revealed she grew up with strict but loving parents and said she was often wrapped in cotton wool by her overprotective father.
“Despite Dad’s best efforts to shield me from harm, he was unable to prevent me from being sexually molested by someone very closely known to my family, not long before my seventh birthday,” she wrote in her book.
While she was six at the time, she claimed the boy in question was a teenager.
“I feared for my life and took his threat of being harmed even further if I told anyone about it very seriously; suffice to say I never spoke about it to a soul,” she added.
In fact, Susie never told either of her parents before they passed away – feeling sure her father would have ended up in jail for manslaughter, as he would likely have murdered “the bastard” if he’d found out.
.@susieelelman has spoken for the first time in her new book '15 Minutes Of Fame' about the sexual abuse she experienced as a child.
She opened up to us about how surviving the ordeal has affected her as an adult. #Studio10
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) December 7, 2018
Appearing on Studio 10 on Friday, the TV favourite left her fellow panellists in tears as she recalled the horror she felt at the time, and admitted she thinks it put her off from having children of her own over fears she may not be able to protect them.
She admitted she initially ended up putting on weight as a “protection” barrier, feeling like it would put men off and stop her feeling vulnerable again. However, it was her next admission that left her co-stars in tears.
“The other thing is I’ve never been married and I’ve never had children,” she said. “I’m sure that’s played an enormous part too … That I think is the hard thing.”
She added: “When you’re that young, and you realise that your family, your mum and dad who are the best parents in the world … to know that mum was the best mum in the world and she couldn’t protect me, what hope have I got to do that for my children?”