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Ashley Judd 'didn't know abuse was wrong'

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Actress Ashley Judd

© PA Images / Michael Dominic/Landov

Ashley Judd has spoken out about being sexually abused as a child, after making allegations in her memoir that she was hurt by several men in her past.

The Tooth Fairy actress is currently promoting her autobiography All That Is Bitter and Sweet, which includes the claim that one of the people to abuse her was an unnamed family member.

Appearing on the Today show, Judd told presenter Meredith Vieira that she did not appreciate that the way she was being treated was wrong.

She explained: "It's not so much that I had repressed it. It's that I didn't know because that's what sexual predators do. They groom their victims and psychologically manipulate them because they are shameless when they are perpetrating.

"I am not alone or unusual, which is one of the reasons why I am super-comfortable talking about being a survivor of sexual abuse. They put their shame on me and I've given those SOBs back their shame."

Judd added that despite the trauma in her childhood, she is very close to her family.

"First of all, my mother loves and adores me and my dad absolutely loves and adores me; they did then, and they do now," she said.

"We came from a dysfunctional family system that didn't work very well. So the kinds of things that happened to me are very typical and standard and indicative of a family system that doesn't work very well."

Last year, Judd revealed that she had sought therapy prior to accepting a role in the film Helen, in which she played a suicidal teacher, having received treatment for depression several years earlier.

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