'Dancing With the Stars' Judge Carrie Ann Inaba Reveals Trying to Be 'Uglier' After Childhood Molestation

Dancing With The Stars judge and The Talk co-host Carrie Ann Inaba opened up about "trying to be uglier" after she was molested as a child.

During Friday's episode, Inaba, 51, said she felt partly responsible for being molested and would dress more like a "tomboy" to avoid catching the attention of boys and men.

"When I was a child I was molested and I thought that it was because I was attractive," Inaba explained.

"You get a lot of attention when you're young and you're a cute little girl and people come up to you — men included, boys included — and sometimes the advances are unwanted."

Inaba's solution was to dress more like a tomboy. She said she would take a look in the mirror and "be like, 'I like this' and then I would do something to make it uglier, on purpose."

"'Oh it looks too pulled together, this outfit, I better wear flip flops with this dress' or something to make it feel less pulled together," she recalled. "I've always done that."

Last year, when Inaba was still a guest host on The Talk, she opened up about being molested as a child when discussing the Whitney Houston documentary Whitney. The film claims Houston was sexually abused by her cousin, the late singer Dee Dee Warwick, when she was a child. Inaba told the audience she could relate to what Houston went through.

"It's so sad that she was molested. Being molested is such a horrible thing and it does affect you. I think that the director's right to notice that and try to figure it out," Inaba said at the time, reports PEOPLE.

"When you share that you've been molested, it's usually to get some sort of closure for yourself or to make sure it doesn't happen to other people, and I don't think that that served any of those purposes in this case. I feel like it's sensationalizing something and trying to get the most out of it for the documentary."

She later said, through tears, "It's true, I was molested as a kid and I feel exactly what you just said, there is a hole in me that I can never fill... So I get that."

In an October 2017 appearance on The Talk, Inaba said she was sexually assaulted by a martial arts trainer. In March 2019, she said her mother did not understand the abuse she suffered, and eventually had to forgive her. She said that made her feel "super alone."

"I think people can believe whatever they want to believe, whichever side you land on, that's your choice," Inaba said in March. "But for me, somebody who's been through it, you need them to recognize, you need someone to say, 'Yes, I'm sorry it happened.' You may or may not get it and if you don't get it, you still have to learn how to forgive and move on for your own life."

Inaba was named a permanent co-host on The Talk in December after Julie Chen Moonves left the series.


Photo credit: CBS