In her new book, Gabrielle Union-Wade reveals the trauma of being raped at her work when she was just 19-years-old. In the memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, the Bring It On alum recounts the horrific ordeal at a local Payless store.
“The way my dad looked at me after [he heard what had happened], oh my God, is still a nightmare,” Gabrielle writes in the book according to People magazine. "I sued Payless for negligence, but I wanted to sue them for my dad looking at me like that. The look was: Damaged. Victim. Guilt. Fear. I was the kid you bragged about. I got great grades. Was the perfect athlete. Blah blah blah. And in that moment, I was damaged.”
The rapist was eventually caught and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. The actress won her suit against Payless because the store had positively identified the man for robbing a different store location but gave no warning to employees.
Despite winning, the actress confessed the ongoing effects of her rape were like an “infection you can’t treat.” The Being Mary Jane actress writes, “After I was raped, I didn’t leave my house for a whole year unless I had to go to court or to therapy.”
“Twenty-four years later, fear still influences everything I do.” In her memoir, the 44-year-old also opens up about her fertility struggles, revealing she’s had “eight or nine miscarriages.” She continues to say, “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Gabrielle told People when she married NBA star husband Dwayne Wade in 2014, she hadn’t seen children as part of her future. “I never wanted kids,” she said. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.” She's currently raising three boys with 35-year-old Wade — his nephew Dahveon Morris, 16, and sons from a previous marriage Zaire, 15, and Zion, 10.
This post was written by Kate Wagner. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.