Actress Vanessa Williams.

She just laid bare one of her deepest darkest secrets, which she has been holding on to for years.

Vanessa Williams, 49, has revealed that she was molested as a child.

She wrote about the disturbing incident in her new memoir You Have No Idea.

The former Miss America said that when she was only 10 years old, an 18-year-old girl abused her. She says that what happened to her didn’t resonate with her until much later.

She explained to People magazine: “Family friends who had a daughter invited me to visit their friends in California. The family we stayed with had two kids.”

Describing her attacker she said: “Susan, who was 18, smoked, drove a car and was the epitome of cool. (My friend) Nancy and I slept in the den.

“One night Susan crept in.”

“She told me to lie down on the rug. I was confused. Are we going to play a game? As I tried to make sense of it, Susan pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pyjamas. “What are you doing?” I asked. ‘Don’t worry – it’ll feel good’, she replied.”

Vanessa continued: “I lay there paralysed. What was going on? I didn’t speak. She kept at (the molestation) for I don’t know how long. She slid my bloomers back up and whispered: ‘Don’t tell anyone’.”

It wasn’t until years later that Vanessa began to comprehend what had happened to her that night.

She said: “For years I kept Susan’s visit to myself. I didn’t really understand until college. I was with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted out: ‘Oh my god – I was molested’.”

While what had happened to her didn’t resonate at the time, she began to change her behaviour and started to rebel.

Vanessa began to smoke marijuana, she didn’t comply with her curfew and at high school she had an abortion.

Before finding fame as a TV star, the Grammy-nominated singer enjoyed success in beauty pageants and the star speaks out about the process in her memoirs, which she has written with her mother Helen.

Speaking about being crowned Miss America in 1983, she said: “I had no emotion. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t excited. I wasn’t there. I just smiled and waved.”

Williams was the first black Miss America and she suffered from a backlash.

She noted: “Some (people) didn’t think I was black enough. My mother received death threats.”

If that wasn’t enough, nude photos taken two years earlier ended up surfacing and meant she was stripped of her title.

But Vanessa has learnt from her experiences and says she was always honest with her children, Melanie, 24, Jillian, 22, Devin, 19, and Sasha 11.

She explained: “It was part of my journey that led me to them and to where I am today.” – Daily Mail