Pamela Anderson, 46, opened up about her painful past at the launch of her foundation -- the Pamela Anderson Foundation -- at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France Friday, sharing her history with sexual abuse to the stunned audience.
"Despite loving parents, I was molested from age 6-10 by my female babysitter," she said, via a transcript of her speech which she has since posted on her blog.
But the abuse didn't stop there.
"I went to a friend's boyfriend's house -- while she was busy, the boyfriend's older brother decided he would teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage which led into rape -- my first heterosexual experience. He was 25 years old -- I was 12," she recalled.
She also said she was gang-raped by her first boyfriend when she was in the ninth grade.
"My first boyfriend in grade nine decided it would be funny to gang rape me (with six of his friends)," she said. "Needless to say I had a hard time trusting humans -- I just wanted off this earth."
As to why she kept these events to herself all these years, she said she didn't want to disrupt her already struggling mother.
"My mom was always crying -- Dad didn't always come home leaving us in tremendous pain and worry. I couldn't bear to give her any more disruptive information," she explained. "I couldn't break her heart any more than it was breaking. I kept these events to myself. Sometimes when you smile, it's not because you're happy. It's because you're strong."
According to the Baywatch star, it's her love for animals that got her through such a rough childhood.
"My affinity with animals saved me -- they came to me naturally," she said. "The trees spoke to me. I wasn't sure why I was alive. A burning question -- a quest -- my loyalty remained with the animal kingdom. I vowed to protect them and only them -- I prayed to the whales with my feet in the ocean. My only real friends -- till I had children."
Anderson's namesake foundation is a nonprofit devoted to protecting the environment, and animal and human rights.
On Sunday, the longtime animal advocate tweeted a link to the full transcript of her speech.
http://t.co/k7XcCfS4wK My speech at launch of my Namesake foundation. I want people to know - they can overcome and prosper with love...— Pamela Anderson (@PamelaDAnderson) May 18, 2014