AnnaLynne McCord has shared her very magnanimous perspective on the people who sexually abused her as a child and raped her as a teenager, insisting they are not ‘bad people’ but instead just made ‘bad decisions.’
The 33-year-old 90210 actress spoke candidly about her trauma in a new interview with creative agency House of Influence, revisiting details of the night a friend raped her in her own bed at age 19.
‘The truth is, we’re not good and we’re not bad. Even the person who sexually abused me as a child, and the person who sexually assaulted me when I was 19, they’re not bad people,’ she said, according to The Sun.
‘They make bad decisions from bad places that they were in at the time. From my point of view, [they] deserve an opportunity for redemption,’ she added.
Forgiving nature: AnnaLynne McCord has shared her very forgiving perspective on the people who sexually abused her as a child and raped her as a teenager
Looking back: The 33-year-old actress spoke candidly about her trauma in a new interview, revisiting details of the night a friend raped her in her own bed at age 19
AnnaLynne has managed to find it in her to be forgiving towards her abusers despite years of trauma.
‘I came from horrible abuse. I grew up going through all of these horrible things that… That caused me absolute terrible pain,’ she said.
She’d blocked out her childhood abuse for years, but it all came pouring back in when she was raped at 19.
AnnaLynne first shared story in essay for Cosmopolitan in 2014, recalling how a man in her friend group whom she had considered a friend needed a place to sleep for the night, so she invited him over.
‘We sat on the bed and talked for a while, then I fell asleep. When I woke up, he was inside me,’ she wrote for Cosmo.
‘At first, I felt so disoriented and numb, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep,’ she went on. ‘I wondered if I had done something to give him the wrong idea. I felt afraid of making him angry. Believe it or not, I didn’t want to offend him. I just wanted it to be over.’
Finally, when she worked up the nerve to tell him to stop, ‘He stopped and went in the bathroom and finished.’
‘Even the person who sexually abused me as a child, and the person who sexually assaulted me when I was 19, they’re not bad people,’ AnnaLynne (pictured right) said
‘From my point of view, [they] deserve an opportunity for redemption,’ she added (pictured in Las Vegas on June 10)
In her new interview this week, she discusses how she ‘froze’ after he left her.
‘I did nothing, I laid there until 5:00 AM, until the sun started to peek through, and I could feasibly, in my mind, explain that I got up early,’ she said.
‘I wrote a note like I suddenly had to go to a meeting at 5:00 a.m. It wasn’t really making any logical sense, but I had to get out of my own house.
‘I sat in my vehicle down the street hidden by a bush, waiting to see his car leave and then I went back to my place and showered and tried to pretend like that had never happened.
AnnaLynne said she didn’t acknowledge what had happened until ten months later, when a mutual friend speculated that she was in love with the man who raped her — and she correct him.
‘I was like, “No, he… Yeah, no he raped me,”‘ she said.
A couple of years later, AnnaLynn was on 90210, where no one knew about her history. But coincidentally, the script featured a storyline in which her character was raped by her English teacher. After, she, too, was accused of being in love with him.
‘The showrunner literally writes my story in the script of 90210 without knowing it, unfortunately, because it is so common,’ she said.
‘It was as if I got thrown back to when I was 19 in this moment with my friend, and this whole thing happened. I went into hysterics, just my whole body was wrapped with tears.’
Triggering: The actress recalled a triggering moment on the show 90210, when her what happened to her in real life happened to her character
‘The showrunner literally writes my story in the script of 90210 without knowing it, unfortunately, because it is so common,’ she said
The star noted that it’s a prime example that ‘you never know what someone’s battle is, you never know what someone’s going through.’
In April, AnnaLynne spoke openly about how her trauma has continued to impact her, divulging her battle with dissociative identity disorder (DID), which is formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is characterized by alternating between multiple identities, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
A person with the disorder may feel like one or more voices are in their head and have gaps in memory of events, including trauma.
She shared her diagnosis in a YouTube video that was posted by brain disorder specialist Dr. Daniel Amen.
She said she is now examining how the sexual abuse she suffered may have led to her dissociative identity disorder.
She discussed her memory loss, explaining that she doesn’t remember anything about her life before the age of five, and after that, she can only remember several ‘incidents’ of abuse, recollections that were triggered by her rape at age 18.
‘I don’t have anything until around five, and then from five to 11. I recount incidents throughout,’ she said, noting that she also has gaps in her memory after age 11.
Scary: AnnaLynne previously spoke about how her abuse led to her having dissociative identity disorder
Candid: The star publicly revealed her diagnosis on in a YouTube video she filmed with brain disorder specialist Dr. Daniel Amen
‘And then when I was 13, I have a singled-out memory that was just one thing, that I don’t have a sense of anything else at that time.’
However, she does remember having a split personality when she was 13.
‘She was a balls to the wall, middle fingers to the sky, anarchist from hell who will stab you with the spike ring that she wears, and you’ll like it,’ she told Dr. Amen. ‘Then she’ll make you lick the blood from it.’
What is dissociative identity disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) was previously known as multiple personality disorder and is classified by the presence of two or more distinct personality states in those who have it.
Dissociative disorders – including DID – usually develop as a reaction to trauma, as a means of keeping difficult memories at bay.
As well as the presence of alternate identities, DID symptoms can also include amnesia and other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
The most commonly used treatments for DID are talk therapy and medication; however, other methods may be suggested depending on the individual and their symptoms.
The actress added: ‘She was a nasty little creature, but I have so much gratitude to her because she got me out of the hell that I was in.’
The actress, who received her DID diagnosis before meeting with Dr. Amen, revealed that her doctor told her she suffered from it ‘pretty seriously,’ and that she likely had ‘definitive splits’ prior to her memory returning.
Although she can now identify she had a split personality from the age of 13, she can look back on her childhood behavior and see evidence of the disorder at an earlier age, before her memories came back.
‘Before my memories came back, I had definitive splits. In my history, you’ll see me, I would just show up with the black wig and a new personality and I was this tough little baddie, and then I’d be the bohemian flower child,’ she explained.
The anti-trafficking activist now believes that her disorder also played a part in her work as an actress, explaining that all of her roles, in one way or another, were ‘splits’ — split personalities ‚ although she was not aware of it at the time.
It was not until she took part in the 2012 independent movie Excision that she began to become aware of the symptoms that she now recognizes as signs of DID.
‘All of my roles were splits, but I didn’t even realize I was doing it at all until I did [Excision],’ she shared.
In the movie, which she filmed while on hiatus from the hit Fox series 90210, AnnaLynne played the role of Pauline, a ‘disturbed, strange girl.’ She recalled struggling to let go of that character and return to her day job playing a rich Beverly Hills teen.
‘I played a very, very cerebral, disturbed, strange girl, that was very close to who I feel I am on the inside,’ she said. ‘And it was very exposing, confronting, and a little bit re-traumatizing without realizing it…and even healing as well.
Expert: Dr. Amen explained that he scanned McCord’s brain and the results are ‘not like many of the other multiples he has seen’
Using her voice: The actress said that her goal is to shift the way society views people dealing with the disorder
‘The crazy thing about it was that I wrapped that film at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday and had to be happy, crazy Beverly Hills blonde bombshell on Wednesday at noon and I couldn’t find her, she was not accessible. I was dark, I was very deep into this character Pauline, and I couldn’t get [out].
‘When I look back in hindsight, I’m like…oh my dear God.’
She went on to recall that there was one moment when she ‘experienced [her split personality] consciously’ when she was ‘co-conscious’ with a split she referred to as ‘little Anna.’
‘I could be co-conscious with my “little” and was very clearly defined that I was me, anchored in real time, and “little Anna” was popping up,’ she explained, although she added that she has ‘spent a lot of her life as the [anarchist] split she was [from] 13 and on.’
Dr. Amen explained that he scanned AnnaLynne’s brain and the results are ‘not like many of the other multiples he has seen,’ before questioning whether the actress has ever been given a bipolar diagnosis, which she confirmed she had.
‘In 2017, I actually went [to a psychiatrist], knowing for years that I felt like I was [bipolar], considering the fact that I have family history and the symptoms seemed to line up,’ she said.
Looking back: In a later interview, AnnaLynne she realized she needed help a on the set of 90210 after she filmed a scene in which her character Naomi was raped
‘I wanted to die for so much of my life. I didn’t want to be here,’ she said. ‘And now I wake up every day and I say thank you I’m alive again’
She added that she had struggled with symptoms of bipolar disorder for years, but admitted that she actually relied on her ‘manic’ behavior as a means of pulling herself out of a depressed state.
‘I would use my manic symptoms to get me out of depression, I would kind of manipulate my symptoms,’ she explained. ‘I knew that if I went on a crazy sex spree, or a shopping spree, or any kind of heightened thrill-seeking type things, I could always manipulate myself out of depression so I never really got too stuck.’
However, in 2017, she ‘went down a depression spiral’ that she could not bring herself out of ‘no matter what she did.’
‘I tried to go on no-sleeping benders to activate my mania, I tried sex, spending [sprees], I tried traveling all over the globe the first part of that year but I could not get out of the depression.’
Referring to AnnaLynne’s brain scan, Dr. Amen said that he believes the actress used her split personalities as a means of ‘managing’ her childhood sexual trauma.
‘When you’ve had intense childhood sexual trauma, you split as a way to manage it,’ he said. ‘And the brighter you are, the more you split.’
He also suggested that the actress may have had an undiagnosed brain injury, which could also be an underlying cause of her condition.
The star, who noted that there is a ‘massive spectrum obviously’ of disorder in how it impacts people battling it, said that her goal is to shift the way society views people dealing with the disorder.
‘For me, my heart is to change this narrative around these behaviors that follow trial of the trauma, and not treating someone or responding to someone or judging someone from their actions but asking, “What happened to you? How did we get here?’ she said.
Days later, she sat down with Good Morning America for an interview in which she further discussed her struggles.
‘I wanted to die for so much of my life. I didn’t want to be here,’ she said. ‘And now I wake up every day and I say thank you I’m alive again.’
She said she realized she needed help a decade ago on the set of 90210 after she filmed a scene in which her character Naomi was raped.
‘My whole body like just went into panic mode as if I was living out my life on camera. These moments were coming to light through my work. I didn’t understand anything about the mind or the brain at the time, I was just trying to do my job and I couldn’t. And it was very scary,’ she recalled, adding: ‘I found a way out.’
‘When the memories started to come in, I just started saying, “No, no, this did not happen,”‘ she explained. ‘It [her dissociative identity disorder] had put into a bubble all of the dangerous, toxic, harmful memories [and] locked it away.’
Looking forward: She said she is sharing her story to help fight the stigma surrounding the disorder while she focuses on healing
‘The brain doesn’t care about quality of life,’ she said. ‘It just cares about going on to continue living’
Many people with dissociative disorders like DID struggle with memory loss or amnesia around traumatic events or experiences.
AnnaLynne said it was ‘so destabilizing’ to have those traumatic memories come flooding back to her, explaining: ‘My whole life means something different now.’
Dissociative identity disorder was previously called multiple personality disorder, but the name was changed in the 1990s to better reflect the condition, which is characterized by a lack of a unified identity.
‘You don’t have multiple personalities. You have fragments of yourself,’ the actress explained. ‘There’s AnnaLynne, who’s talking to you right now, right? And then there’s the part of me that this trauma happened to that’s still, if you can imagine it, like trapped in Pandora’s box, and I just opened Pandora’s box.’
She said she is sharing her story to help fight the stigma surrounding the disorder while she focuses on healing.
‘The brain doesn’t care about quality of life,’ she said. ‘It just cares about going on to continue living. I want my quality of life to get better and that’s why I stepped into this healing process…I want to thrive.’