Clare Crawley said she was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when she was a child.
The "Bachelorette" star shared her story on "Red Table Talk: The Estefans," which aired Thursday.
Crawley said her parents sued the church, but they just moved the priest to another parish.
"Bachelorette" star Clare Crawley said she was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when she was a child.
Crawley shared her emotional story on the Facebook Watch series "Red Table Talk: The Estefans," which aired Thursday.
"I believe I was right around 5 or 6 years old - when I was in first grade," she told Gloria Estefan, who hosts the series with her daughter Emily and niece Lili. "I grew up going to a Catholic school when I was a victim of a predator."
Crawley said that she was a "painfully shy" child who would rather "pee my pants instead of ask to go to the restroom." Her parents went to a Catholic priest at the school - who acted as a counselor to the students - for help.
"I don't think there was any counseling that was done," Crawley said. "It was one-on-one time to be a predator."
Crawley said she had to learn very quickly to start speaking up at school.
"I knew enough to know that I didn't want to sit alone in a confessional with him anymore," she added.
Crawley didn't tell anyone in her family until three years later. When her parents found out, they sued the church.
"The church essentially said we will do whatever it takes to keep this quiet, we will move him out of the church," Crawley recalled. "But when the church said they had moved him out of the church, they had moved him to one church over. He did it to more children and the church allowed him - knowing he was a predator - to perpetuate what he was doing."
Crawley first revealed that she was a sexual abuse survivor on an Instagram post in July.
"As a child of sexual abuse, my young adult years were spent in unhealthy relationships feeling unworthy of the good ones," she wrote. "It was a vicious cycle, because the more I chose the wrong men who treated me poorly, the more I believed I wasn't good enough."
Crawley said Dale Moss - who appeared with her on the episode - helped give her the courage to share her story.
"I remember sitting on the bed and telling my fiancé Dale, I want to share this, I'm ready to share this, but I'm scared," she recalled. "And he told me, 'That's even more reason for you to share it."'
Moss, who reportedly split from Crawley just two days before the episode aired, told Estefan that he's always wanted the "Bachelorette" star to feel "safe, secure, and protected."
Crawley told the Estefans that speaking out was her way to "take the power back."
"For so long, the weight that I was carrying was shame, embarrassment, feeling not worthy of the church standing up for me," she said. "And now I thought, you know what, this is not my burden to carry anymore. What I'm going to carry is being a survivor."
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