53 Celebrities Who Were Abused

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List Criteria: Famous victims and survivors of abuse

List of celebrities who were abused, ranked by fame and popularity. Abuse comes in many forms. It can be physical, mental, sexual or a combination of horrors. Sadly, several famous people have been molested and abused, physically and verbally. Many of them speak of their past so that other victims can feel empowered to move past their experiences. If you are a victim of abuse and you need someone to talk to, call the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Who is the most famous celebrity who has been abused? Rihanna tops our list. Rihanna was involved in a very public incident of domestic abuse at the hand of her boyfriend, abuser Chris Brown. Photos that were released after the incident showed Rihanna's face bruised and swollen. The incident occurred the night before the Grammy awards and both singers cancelled their appearances at the awards show.

Tyler Perry was a victim of multiple forms of abuse. He discussed the incidents and how he got over them in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Perry says, “I think that everyone who's been abused, there is a string to the puppet master, and they're holding you hostage to your behaviors and what you do. At some point, you have to be responsible for them. What I started to do is untie the strings and chase them down to where they came from. And I was able to free myself and understand that even though these things happened to me, it was not me.”

What do you think is the best way for people to move on after they have been abused? What would you say to the abusers who mistreated these celebrities? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  1. Charlize Theron is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 53 Celebrities Who Were Abused
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    Charlize Theron grew up with an abusive father who would frequently state that he was going to kill the whole family.  Theron's mother shot her father in self defense after he came home drunk and agitated one night.

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    • Age: 40
    • Birthplace: Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Film Producer, Model, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster, Hancock
  2. Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 53 Celebrities Who Were Abused
    Photo: DFree/Shutterstock
    Halle Berry grew up with an abusive father.  The Oscar winner discussed her difficult past with James Lipton on his show "Inside the Actor's Studio."

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    • Age: 49
    • Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Model, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: X-Men: The Last Stand, Cloud Atlas, X-Men 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past
  3. Rihanna is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 53 Celebrities Who Were Abused
    Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock
    Rihanna was the victim of domestic abuse at the hand of then boyfriend Chris Brown. Brutal photos were released just after the incident showing the pop star with a swollen and bruised face.

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    • Age: 27
    • Birthplace: Saint Michael Parish, Barbados
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Songwriter, Actor, Music artist, Singer
    • Credits: The Hangover, Wreck-It Ralph, 21, I Love You, Man
  4. Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 53 Celebrities Who Were Abused
    Photo: DFree/Shutterstock
    Drew Barrymore suffered child abuse and neglect from her father John Barrymore.  Drew, growing up a child star, was also introduced to drugs, alcohol, and sex at an early age.

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    • Age: 40
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, Culver City, California, USA
    • Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: Donnie Darko, Charlie's Angels, Scream, My Date with Drew
  5. Madonna was raped on a New York rooftop when she was just 19.  She also suffered mental and physical abuse from her ex-husband Sean Penn throughout their four year marriage.

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    • Age: 57
    • Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: Madonna: Truth or Dare, Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, Evita
  6. Shakira suffered domestic abuse from an old boyfriend.  The Colombian singer has become a symbol of women's empowerment across the globe.

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    • Age: 38
    • Birthplace: Barranquilla, Colombia
    • Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Model, + more
    • Credits: Love in the Time of Cholera, 27 Dresses, From Prada to Nada, Camino
  7. Pamela Anderson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 53 Celebrities Who Were Abused
    Photo: Laundry Broad/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Pamela Anderson stated that he ex-husband Tommy Lee was mentally and physically abusive to her and her children.  Anderson and Lee divorced in 1998.

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    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Ladysmith, Canada
    • Profession: Activist, Television director, Nude Glamour Model, Television producer, Model, + more
    • Credits: V.I.P., Scary Movie 3, Baywatch, Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson
  8. Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 53 Celebrities Who Were Abused
    Photo: Rena Schild/Shutterstock
    Oprah Winfrey suffered from sexual abuse as a child in Milwaukee.  The talk show host as been vocal about her experience and she has helped many other victims move past their horrific pasts.

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    • Age: 61
    • Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Profession: Businessperson, Journalist, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Color Purple, Beloved, Oprah: Where Are They Now?
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