Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mary J. Blige talks about childhood sexual abuse

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by Joe Gracely

New York Daily News

Discussing a painful past with VH1's Behind the Music, Mary J. Blige opened up about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child and revealed it left her feeling worthless and ashamed.

"When I was five years old I was molested and just, you know. I remember feeling, literally right before it happened, I just could not believe that this person was going to do this to me," Blige said of the abuse by a family friend.

"That thing followed me all my life," she confided. "The shame of thinking my molestation was my fault - it led me to believe I wasn't worth anything."

The emotional pain grew and as a teenager Blige turned to men and drugs for escape.

"I ended up becoming my environment," she told Parade magazine in 2007. "It was bigger than me. I had no self-respect. I hated myself. I thought I was ugly. Alcohol, sex, drugs - I'd do whatever it took to feel better."

But opening up to VH1, the singer explains finding love with husband Kendu was the push she needed to finally sober up.

"When I stopped drinking, it was willpower," she said. "It was prayer. It was really hard. But most of all, I cared so much about [Kendu], I didn't want to be just this alcoholic burden on him."

The singer also revealed a deep appreciation for friend and mentor Diddy, who led production of her debut album in 1992.

"If it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't have made it this far in my career, because he pushed me, challenged me to challenge myself," she said.

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