Sun, 15 January 2023 at 11:31 am GMT
Former Neighbours actress Madeleine West has said she was sexually abused as a child.
West, 42, said she was five when a man first molested her, with the abuse lasting five years.
“I knew from the beginning that it wasn’t right,” she told News Corp in her native Australia.
“You’re told that you are at fault. That you somehow enjoy it, that you brought it on.
“A child can never consent.”
West starred as Dee Bliss on the Australian soap from 2000 to 2003, and returned to the show as Andrea Somers between 2017 and 2020.
She said her experience of abuse contributed to her pursuing an acting career.
“Part of the reason I went into acting was to wear someone else’s skin, to hide what was actually happening in my life,” she said.
“You carry a lot of scar tissue.”
West is unable to disclose any more details about the attacks, but has decided to speak up now to help other survivors.
The mother-of-six has teamed up with former detective Gary Jubelin for an eight-part podcast series called Predatory, which is aimed at shining a light on the issue of paedophilia.
In the podcast, the pair call for Australia to adopt a national public child sex register, as well as make changes to laws to fairly compensate victims.
“This monster ruined my life,” West said.
“(But) I feel like I’ve come full circle. I can stand up and say ‘this happened to me and I’m moving beyond it’, and there are people out there who need to be answerable for what they’ve done.
“Justice can be achieved. It was never, and never will be, your fault, you are not to blame.”