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These days, Jenny McCarthy is most often seen lovingly swapping kisses with her husband, Donnie Wahlberg, on the red carpet. But on Tuesday night, she recounted a very different romantic relationship that didn’t have a happy ending.
McCarthy, 44, described the unhealthy relationship during a launch party for hair product brand Schwarzkopf Gliss’s “Beautiful by Choice” campaign. While she noted that the “excruciating verbal abuse” lasted for four years, McCarthy did not name her ex.
“What I thought was gonna be a typical relationship turned into a relationship that you would never think you would get yourself into. Especially me,” she said. “I mean, I really consider myself to be pretty strong-willed and confident, even back then. But I did find myself being slowly manipulated in to a very, very dark, abusive — verbally abusive — relationship that could have easily killed me.”
McCarthy detailed the backwards way of thinking she had at the time.
“I no longer had my own thoughts,” she confessed. “They were replaced with his thoughts about me. That I was worthless, disgusting, talentless, ugly, fat, smelled so badly. I was no longer worthy of being kissed.”
Eventually, McCarthy found her way out by looking inward.
“The path to loving yourself requires you to stop putting the blame on others and observe the choices you make that got you there. It wasn’t his job to love me. It was mine,” she said. “So I chose to finally get the hell out of that relationship. I chose to be powerful, not powerless.”
McCarthy’s famous exes include Jim Carrey, whom she split with in April 2010 after five years, and former NFL player Brian Urlacher, her plus-one for a few months in 2012. She also was married from 1999 to 2005 to actor and director John Asher, the father of her 14-year-old son, Evan. Earlier, she dated her manager, Ray Manzella, in the 1990s.
McCarthy’s revelation about finding her inner strength came just in time for International Women’s Day, and she wasn’t the only celeb speaking out about a past relationship that held her back.
Girls star Zosia Mamet penned an essay for Refinery29 recalling a time when a needy boyfriend wanted her to forgo even auditioning for a job that would take her away from him for a couple of months.
“This was not the first and definitely not the last relationship I would have with a man who would tell me that my desire for success hurt him in some way, shape, or form,” Mamet wrote. “Wanting to please my partners, I tried to pretzel into what these men wanted me to be. I tried to somehow become less driven, to put my career in the backseat of their dreams. I tried to make myself smaller.”
Mamet, 29, added that she eventually realized what was happening and changed her path.
“Nearly a decade has passed since I parted ways with my weepy boyfriend,” she said. “I have since grown from a girl into a confident woman who knows my own worth, with a husband who wholly supports and encourages my dreams. Reflecting on my personal journey, I’ve come to realize the changes that can and need to happen both here at home and globally for women’s rights. I have a voice, and I’m gonna use it as a megaphone. Ladies — we have serious work to do.”
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