Even celebrities have experienced and are pushing through the trauma of sexual assaults. These five amazing celebs were victimized, and shared their stories to empower other women.  

1. Lady Gaga

photo: Instagram

Actress and singer Lady Gaga revealed to radio host Howard Stern in December 2014 that a record producer raped her when she was 19. The pop star’s single, Swine, is about the incident:

"The song is about rape. The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release and I said to myself, ‘I want to sing this song while I’m ripping hard on a drum kit and then I want to get on a mechanical bull, which is probably one of the most demoralizing things that you can put a female on in her underwear, and I want this chick to throw up on me in front of the world so that I can tell them 'You know what, you can never degrade me as much as I could degrade myself and look how beautiful it is when I do.'"

Not only did Gaga performed with other survivors at the 2016 Oscars, she also got matching tattoos with them. Their tattoos symbolizes unity and solidarity for survivors of sexual assaults.

2. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey in 2014
photo: Wikimedia Commons

Oprah Winfrey owns a cable network, interviews some of the most famous people in the world, and survived rape and sexual abuse. In 1986, the billionaire goddess revealed that a relative raped her at just just nine-years-old. Another family member sexually molested her until she turned 14. At the age of 14, Winfrey became pregnant with a baby boy, whom she named Canaan meaning 'new land, new life,' that died two weeks after his birth. When talking about her baby and assault in December 2015, Winfrey said the following:

"But this is my 14-year-old self. I don't even know what I thought the plan was going to be. ... You're having a baby out of wedlock, your life is over. So when the baby died – the baby was never brought home from the hospital – when the baby died, I knew that it was my second chance. So I went back to school, and nobody knew. Because had anybody known at that time, I wouldn't have been able to be head of student council. I wouldn't have been able to be speaking champion in forensics. … I wouldn’t have been chosen as one of the two teenagers in the state of Tennessee to go to the White House conference on youth. None of those things would have happened, and the entire trajectory of my life would have been different."

3. Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union in 2009
photo: Wikimedia Commons

At the age of 19, actress Gabrielle Union was raped at gun point while working in a Payless shoe store. However, the "Being Mary Jane" star has never wanted to be labeled as a victim.

"Being a victim is so comfortable," she said on "The View" in 2014. "When something catastrophic happens in your life, everyone rallies around you. You’re getting all of the attention and love and support that you’ve always wanted, but it’s not for something positive. And I hated that. I hated feeling like a victim. I hated the cloak of victim-hood. I was like, 'I want to embrace being a survivor.'"

In 2009, to further promote the awareness, Union teamed up with Ann Burke to serve as proponents of the renewal of the multi-billion dollar plan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which serves as a vast female shield against rape.

4. Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher at an Austrian charity press conference in 2010
photo: Wikimedia Commons

The “Nanny” star and her friend were sexually assaulted in 1985 during a home robbery. Her husband at the time, Peter Jacobson, was attacked, tied up, and forced to watch the incident.  

"I wasn’t able to get in touch with my pain," she said to Larry King in 2002. "Back in those days, I didn't want to burden other people with my pain. And so I sort of tucked it away and picked myself up, and dusted myself off and just marched on."

5. Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah at the LEAGUE's 2008 National Awards and Recognition Luncheon
photo: Wikimedia Commons

The rapper and actress told Essence in 2009 that a babysitter once molested her

"He violated me," she said. "I never told anybody. I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arms length. I never really let a person get too close to me. I could have been married years ago, but I had a commitment issue. I had to get it off my chest. My mother felt terrible. She was kind of a country girl, so she wasn't up on how slick people could be. When I told my dad, he said nothing."

Have you ever been sexually assaulted?

Get tips on helping you or a friend who has been sexually assaulted or abused here or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline  at 800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also chat online with a trained hotline worker on the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline  at any time to get help.