Julianne Hough may be smiling on the cover of Cosmopolitan this month, but inside the magazine she opens up about her dark history with abuse.
In the February issue, the former "Dancing with the Stars" pro reveals adults took advantage of her when she studied dance at London’s Italia Conti Academy of Arts as a child.
"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she says, adding that it got worse when "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."
"I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen," she continues. "One: I was going to amount to nothing. Two: I was going to work at Whataburger. And three: I was going to end up a slut. So, it was like, I can’t go back. I have to be this person.”
It's an experience she hasn't talked about before ... but one that helped her connect with her character in her upcoming film "Safe Haven," where she plays an abuse victim.
During filming the director reportedly asked Julianne to improvise on set and recall her own London "horrors" as a way of revealing her character's past.
"I went from bawling to containing to laughing to crying again," she says of filming. "Josh [costar Josh Duhamel] was crying. I think it was the most therapeutic moment of my life.”
"Safe Haven" opens February 14.
© 2014 EHM Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.