Celebrity Chef Tabitha Brown Reveals She Was Raped at Age 15 | Video

    Honoree Tabitha Brown speaks during the CROWN Awards ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Hotel on July 3, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images)

    *Celebrity Chef Tabitha Brown revealed in a TikTok last month that she was raped at age 15 and kept the attack a secret for many years. 

    “I don’t know why this is so heavy on my heart, but I wanted to share this now. And I talk about this a bit in my first book Feeding the Soul, so it’s not new to many people, but whatever reason, God has placed it on my heart tonight,” Brown states in the clip, PEOPLE reports.

    Brown said she snuck out of the house to attend the hotel party with two friends. She took her mother’s car to the party where she met up with the guy she was crushing on. 

    “‘Let’s go – let’s go meet boys,’ and we went to this party,” Brown recalled. “And there was a guy there who I thought liked me. I thought was cute, and I had known him, but didn’t really know him.”

    READ MORE: Tabitha Brown Refuses to Change Her Southern Charm After Food Network Bumps Her Show

    @iamtabithabrown It wasnt my fault and it wasn’t your fault! You didn’t deserve that… I love you #tabithabrown #spreadlove #victim #survivor ♬ original sound – Tabitha Brown

    She added: “That night, I ended up being raped by him, and it wasn’t like a brutal rape…Sometimes people hear ‘rape,’ they think that it has to be one way. It simply means I said ‘no’ and he wouldn’t stop.”

    Brown said she blamed herself for the rape, as she viewed it as “punishment” for taking her mother’s car. 

    “I had taken her car and I went to this party. And I knew better. And in my mind I convinced myself, ‘That’s what you get. You deserve that. Like that was your punishment,’” she said.

    “Up until five years ago, nobody knew,” she said about the attack. “Only the two friends who were with me that night.”

    Brown said years of healing past the trauma taught her that “It is never your fault.”

    Tabitha Brown

    “Doesn’t matter what you wore. Doesn’t matter where you went. Doesn’t matter what you did wrong, but under no circumstance is it ever your fault for getting raped,” she added. 

    “God gave me a word five years ago and He told me my secrets were making me sick, and so I had to release it,” the vegan cookbook author explained. 

    “So I say to you — if you’ve been holding it in for so many different reasons, whether you think you’re guilty or that you deserved it; embarrassment, shame, whatever the case may be, it’s time to release it. Because your secret is making you sick. It wasn’t your fault.”

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