Lady Gaga inspires Jaime King to speak out on childhood sexual abuse

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Hayley Spencer
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Following Lady Gaga's moving Oscars performance of Til It Happens To You, actress Jaime King has been motivated to come forward to share her story of childhood sexual abuse.

King took to Instagram with a photo of herself at 14, revealing "it started at 12."

She wrote: "Thank you to myself to not choosing to not make this a cover story though that was what was suggested to me but to express from my heart to you all personally which felt the most honest way for me to speak.

"Thank you to my Soul, body, mind, emotions, my inner child, my younger self, I love you. It's a night of celebration, of change, of not being ashamed of your race, creed color, situation, circumstances and environment, or past.

"Now I am free, somewhat.

"Thank you for the switch that went off inside finally when I realized my silence said I cannot help nor change and that is not who I am. I love you all very much for creating a safe space. The time is now. I was about 14 here, it started at 12."

King used the post to thank those who've helped support her, including her husband Kyle Newman for "loving her whole", her friends Lena Dunham and Taylor Swift; who is godmother to her youngest son, and of course, Gaga.

To Swift she said: "I love you for being there no matter what."

She thanked Dunham "for her relentless bravery that always leads my Spirit to stand up."

Lady Gaga moved members of the audience to tears at the Academy Awards with her rendition of Oscar-nominated Til It Happens To You, taking to the stage with fellow survivors of sexual assault. Gaga co-wrote and recorded the track with Diane Warren for documentary, The Hunting Ground, about sexual assault on college campuses. 

During her performance Gaga referenced own experience of being raped: "One in six women will be raped by time they leave college. As survivor myself, I'm happy to be here to give survivors a stage."

Before sharing her story on Instagram, King quoted Gaga and UN Women, saying the performance had "healed" from her abuse. She also made the revelation that she had been assaulted as a child early in her career. 

The 36-year-old's Instagram post has seen an outpour of support from fans and fellow survivors of sexual abuse, helping realise the agenda of Gaga's Oscars performance: to change the dialogue surrounding sexual assault.

If you've been a victim of sexual assault and want to seek help, you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111 or find out more about their services here.