Cheryl Burke Childhood Sexual Abuse: “I Was Molested”
Two-time Dancing With the Stars champ Cheryl Burke has revealed that she is the survivor of child sexual abuse. The petite hoofer was only five when she and several other neighborhood children were sexually-molested by a well-liked older man in their Bay Area community.
Burke tells all on the pages of her new book, Dancing Lessons, revealing that she was assaulted by a retired postal worker who would sometimes pick her up from school and do odd jobs around her family’s San Francisco home. After the predator was accused of molesting other children, Burke revealed her own abuse and went on to testify against him, helping to send him to prison for nearly 20 years. (Way to go, Cheryl!)
“I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection. (Testifying) was the hardest thing I’ve ever done… I saw his face and lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, ‘What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?’”
Cheryl says she’s been inspired to speak out about her ordeal to show others that they too can overcome trauma.
“I’m telling my story. They’re not secrets. There’s no shame… If I can help just one person, for me that’s all that matters.”
In the memoir, Burke, 26, also shares tales of some abusive relationships she found herself in early in her dating life.