January 3rd, 2013
12:36 PM ET
Julianne Hough has opened up about a painful part of her past in a new interview with Cosmopolitan magazine.
The 24-year-old talent recalls an abusive childhood in London when she was training to be a dancer.
She moved away from her parents and her home of South Jordan, Utah, at the age of 10 to train at London's Italia Conti Academy of the Arts, where her brother Derek was also studying.
But while overseas, "I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she told Cosmo. “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 façade 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.”
The abuse grew worse "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl," she said. "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."
Hough declined to go into details about the manner of abuse, or who was abusing her. "I'm a very forgiving person, and I don't want to hurt anybody. What's past is past," she said. "This is the farthest I've ever gotten into my London situation."
Through it all, Hough clung to her goals of becoming a pro dancer by 18, a singer by 19 and then a movie star by 22. While she might not have included "date a guy just as driven" on her list, Hough has found that in Ryan Seacrest.
"We love what we do," she said. "We take pride in giving it our all, 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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