Queen Latifah Admits to Sexual Abuse

For the first time, a very-private Queen Latifah has opened about the sexual abuse in her past.

"He violated me," the singer/actress told Essence, of her alleged abuser. "I never told anybody; I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arm's distance. I never really let a person get too close to me. I could have been married years ago, but I had a commitment issue."

Queenie says that the death of her brother finally propelled her to reveal her deep, dark secret.

"When I was 22, my brother died, and I knew that I couldn't carry his death and that secret. I had to get it off my chest. My mother felt terrible. She was kind of a country girl, so she wasn't up on how slick people could be. When I told my dad, he said nothing," she continued.

Latifah credits therapy with helping her heal and moving past her troubles. 

"I was a kid, and I had no power or control over the situation. I really wish I'd had the strength and the knowledge to say something sooner," she told the mag. "Because I always wondered. Did he do that to someone else? But I accept that the time for action has come and gone."

She's such a brave and powerful force now -- a woman to be admired.

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