Julianne Hough Reveals She Was Abused as a Child

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The bubbly Julianne Hough may be living an enviable life now, with her showbiz start as a professional dancer on national television, a big-budget movie career underway, a serious boyfriend in the form of media mogul Ryan Seacrest, and, of course, her perfect figure and fresh-faced good looks, but life wasn’t always so rosy for the 24-year-old.

Read More From The Julianne Hough Cover Story in Cosmopolitan

In the February issue of Cosmopolitan, the “Footloose” star reveals that while studying dance at a prestigious academy in London, where she trained from the ages of 10 to 15 thanks to a scholarship, she became the victim of abuse.

"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," Hough tells the magazine. "I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love."

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Things got worse, reveals the Utah native, after she hit puberty and “stopped being a little girl.” “I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen. 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."

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Despite the horror of the London situation, Hough clearly kept her goals in sight … and, amazingly, managed to meet them. "By the time I was 18, I wanted to be a professional dancer: I happened to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ When I was 19, I wanted to be a singer: At that age, I had my first record out. I said by the time I'm 22, I wanted to be a movie star...."

And if her professional goals are any indication, then wedding bells should be ringing in the next few years. Hough tells Cosmo she always planned to marry "when I was like 25, 26.” And you know what comes next: “I'd have babies, like 28, 30. That's kind of my dream. So you never know, but so far, so good."

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Right now, however, she and 38-year-old Seacrest, her boyfriend since 2010, might be a little too busy for babies. "We love what we do. We take pride in giving it our all," the singer and actress explains, "but then when we're alone, we really focus on going to dinners and being extra romantic and affectionate and just being there for each other."

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