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TV Star Tells Of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Desperate houswives star Teri Hatcher has revealed she was sexually abused by an uncle as a child but kept the abuse secret until he was arrested years later for molesting a girl who ultimately committed suicide.
In an interview appearance in Vanity Fair magazine, Hatcher said she told prosecutors about her abuse in 2002 because she was haunted by thoughts of the 14 year-old girl who shot herself and feard her uncle might escape conviction.
"I was just blown over by this girl's pain," the 41 year-old television star told Vanity Fair, recalling she learned about the case from newspaper clippings.
"I thought, 'Boy, that's really close to being me'.
"Any day of the week, I could feel that sort of pain. I haven't tried to kill myself, but I've certainly thought about it, and then I feel guilty about thinking about it, because what's so terrible about my life?"
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Chuck Gillingham credits Hatcher for putting her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone, who was then 64, behind bars.
"Without Teri, this case would have been dismissed," he told magazine, explaining that Hatcher's account provided key corroborating evidence to establish a pattern of behaviour.
Stone, who was married to Hatcher's mother's sister, pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation in Decmber, 2002, and was sentenced to 14 tears' jail after Hatcher agreed to testify against him.
Hatcher initially kept her involvement in the case, which never went to trial, a closely guarded secret, declining to include the experience in her upcoming book Burnt Toast, in part because she worried it might harm her career.

Geelong Advertiser (9-3-2006)

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