On the small screen, she literally fought demons. But now Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Charisma is opening up about the battles she has fought in her personal life.
The 44-year-old spoke to Surviving Evil—a show which sheds light on the real men and women who have fought back against their attackers—about her own terrifying incident.
In 1991, the then-21-year-old was raped and attacked by serial rapist Henry Hubbard Jr.
Two of her friends fought back and were shot in the process. Though Hubbard ran off after being shot in the scuffle, he was ultimately caught and is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence.
Charisma remained silent about the ordeal until last year, when Surviving Evil premiered and she shared her story. And now to mark the second season, she’s opening up about the years that followed the traumatic incident.
“I worked really hard to try to keep that personal story very private, I was very protective of the other survivors that I was with that night,” she revealed.
“It wasn’t until this show was brought to my attention that I decided to share my story in this way. In a way of empowerment and inspiration, not a sensational headline or tabloid story.”
It was extra difficult to share her story with one person in particular—her 11-year-old son, Donovan. “I hadn’t thought about discussing it with my son,” she confessed.
“It’s not that I was avoiding it, but what’s interesting about my son is that he came to me with it because somebody at school came to him with it. They had seen the episode and I remember thinking, ‘What parent let their kid watch Surviving Evil?’ It’s after bedtime, it’s during the week and it’s really not meant for that demographic. But we talked about it and I said, ‘It can be a dangerous world and that’s why mommy is very protective of you.’”
The actress seems pleased with the “remarkably positive” reception to the series, and added that it’s brought her closer to her fans than ever.
“When you share something personal and intense, people are less inclined to think of you as a celebrity and more of a human being,” she told TooFab.