Damn, this is deep:
‘Dancing With the Stars” hoofer Cheryl Burke is breaking her silence on being molested by a family friend when she was 5 years old. It’s a horror she relives daily — and she fears for her safety now that her tormentor is out of prison and roaming the streets.
“It was lots of touching,” Burke, 26, tells People magazine about her molester — a retired mailman who would often pick her up from school and do odd jobs around her family’s house in Atherton, Calif. “He would pull my pants down in his van or he would touch me in the living room while [her caregiver] Ima was in the kitchen cooking,” she says.
The man was eventually arrested after trying to sexually assault Burke’s stepsister and her friend. Burke, who was then 6 years old, testified against him in court. “That was the scariest moment of my life,” she tells People (the issue hits newsstands today). The man was convicted and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. “I felt disgusted with myself for the longest time,” Burke says, adding that she still recoils when she sees mailmen or vans that look like the van her molester drove.
“I knew what he did was wrong, but I wanted this older man’s affection,” she says. And now that he’s out of prison, Burke is extremely wary. “It creeps me out,” she says. “My worst nightmare is to run into him. Not until he dies will I be able not to worry.”
Burke opens up about the abuse in her new book, “Dancing Lessons,” in which she also discusses abusive boyfriends — including one who beat her with a belt, leaving her with “huge welts.”
SMH. Hopefully she’s moving forward and choosing better men…so sad.