Selling Sunset star Amanza Smith is opening up about her traumatic past.
In a cover story interview with Mr. Warburton‘s digital magazine on Thursday, the reality star got real about horrible abuse she faced growing up. She claims she was sexually abused as a child by two separate family members, her stepfather and her step-grandfather — and her mother mentally and physically abused her as well. Lasting effects of the abuse, she said, have affected how she presents herself to the public.
Amanza recalled the alleged abuse going back as far as when she was only three years old:
“I put on a very strong face, which comes from the fact that from the time I was three years old, I was sexually abused by someone very close to me, and I had to pretend it was not happening.”
So, so awful. The 46-year-old added she had no “safe place” during her childhood, because if she wasn’t in the care of one of her abusers, she was in the care of another. She said people began calling her “miss benefit of the doubt” or said she let things “roll off” due to her developed “survival skill to not really be aware when things are super bad”:
“If somebody’s doing something really foul to me, I see the benefit of the doubt … blessing and a curse.”
The TV personality said the impact of her suffering never really hit hard until she had a daughter of her own:
“Until God gave me a baby girl, it did not click. It hit me one day when my daughter was almost two, and I was pregnant with my son. I imagined everything that happened to me happening to her. And it changed everything. Suddenly everything made sense. All of the things I had struggled with in my teens, addiction in my 20s, ways I felt I failed, was not motivated, and felt in some way different from my friends.”
The Netflix star doesn’t have any regrets about her life, though, and hopes to use her platform to help others suffering the same fate:
“I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I would change nothing in my life. I would be born again, and I would live the exact same life of trauma and abuse. I would do it all over again because I am strong enough. I was chosen to go through that. Now I can be a voice to help others get through it.”
Such a brave and selfless outlook.
The outlet contacted her parents; her stepfather refused to comment on the allegations. Her step-grandfather passed away when she was 15 years old.
We’re thinking of Amanza and sending her love and light. Our hearts break to hear these stories.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like to learn more about resources, consider checking out https://www.rainn.org/resources.
If you have sincere cause to suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org.
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