Star Trek alum Marina Sirtis is freeing herself from a long-kept secret.
“I was sexually molested when I was 3,” the actress, now 64, revealed for the first time publicly in an interview with U.K.’s The Times.
“My mom used to leave me with a baby-minder and it was her teenage sons who molested me,” she recalled of her days growing up in poverty in London with her Greek parents. “I never told anyone because even at 3 you know it’s shameful and you think somehow it’s your fault.”
She said her “mother never knew,” adding, “It would have killed her.”
Sirtis connects the abuse to an “eating disorder for 20 years from the age of 13, which is a fairly common response to molestation.” And “having had an eating disorder, I won’t diet” to this day, she said.
The actress credits years of therapy for helping her finally come to terms with her painful childhood. However, she didn’t seek treatment until she moved to the U.S. when she was in her 30s, which is also when she was cast as Counselor Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 1987 to 1994. She went on to appear in four Star Trek movies.
“When I finally did get into therapy in L.A. — everybody in L.A. is in therapy, it’s a given — everyone in my group had been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives,” she said. “What happened to me was awful and I have never talked about it before in public, but I feel that there comes a time when I have to say something and that time is today.”
Sirtis said had she stayed in England, she probably never would have sought treatment due to the “stoicism of the British character. I would have been a very different person, emotionally and psychologically, if I hadn’t gone to America.”
While Sirtis has remained in the U.S. since — with her husband of 25 years rock musician Michael Lamper — she’s actually considering moving to London permanently. For one reason, she’s enjoyed being back at “home” while making her West End debut in the play Dark Sublime, about an actress who used to be in a British sci-fi show who develops a friendship with a fan. (“This play is absolutely me,” she said.)
The other reason is that she feels Trump’s America is no longer for her.
“I travel a lot all over the States and I’ve seen the change in people and it’s not good,” she said. “It’s like Trump has picked off the scab and the pus is pouring out. I also don’t want to live in a country where my husband sleeps with a loaded gun by the side of the bed, to protect me, he says. Gun ownership is a huge issue for me.”
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