Former Baywatch beauty Donna D’Errico is revealing a painful secret that she’s kept hidden for nearly 30 years.
She revealed to Inside Edition that she was raped when she was 22 years old.
“It is very hard to talk about this kind of stuff,” D’Errico, 49, told Inside Edition as she grew emotional. “I thought he was going to kill me. I thought he was going to finish what he was doing and kill me.”
The horrific assault happened six years before she found fame on Baywatch. She was vacationing with friends in Panama City Beach, Fla., when she separated from them to find a restroom.
“He drove me to just some desolate area — I had no idea where we were — it was some desolate area with no street lights or anything and [he] dragged me out of the car and he tore off all of my clothes and he raped me,” she said.
She says after the assault, her attacker drove away, leaving her in a wooded area. It was pitch black and she was naked. She was able to make her way to the highway, where she flagged down a passing truck.
“I never told anybody because I was just so ashamed of what had happened to me,” she said. “I started blaming myself for the way I was dressed. I thought I brought this on myself for being dressed so sexy.”
D’Errico didn’t go to the police after the incident and says she now feels “horrible” for not doing so.
“I felt horrible for a long time for not going to the police because in the back in my head I knew he was doing this to other people,” she said.
She says the #MeToo movement started by actress Alyssa Milano in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal has given her the confidence to speak out.
D’Errico says that telling her story now is “freeing.”