Busy Philipps on revealing her assault: ‘It’s sadly the most unoriginal horror’

Trigger warning
Busy Philipps was on Ellen yesterday to promote her new memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, which comes out in about two weeks. Last Friday, the day after Dr. Ford’s powerful testimony, Busy, 39, revealed that she was raped at the age of 14. She had only told this to her family and close friends a few of months ago. Ellen asked Busy if she wanted to talk about that and she did, explaining that she was so moved by Dr. Ford’s bravery that she decided to tell her story. Ellen then revealed that something happened to her at 15. The interview was tough to watch as I could relate to both of them. You can see the video below and here’s some of what they said:

On why she revealed her rape
Busy: I was so moved by [Dr. Ford’s] bravery. It wasn’t something that I felt like I was ever going to blast out on social media. But when I saw her standing there, speaking her truth after 30 years, I was like, ‘It’s been 25 for me. I can do this. We can all do this.’ Politically whatever you believe I feel like it’s a real moment of reckoning for women, that we have sort of collectively carried this burden for so long. And it’s time to share it.

Ellen: to be 14 years old, to be that girl and for that to happen to her, it’s horrible

Busy: Yeah and it’s sadly the most unoriginal horror isn’t it?

Ellen opened up too
Ellen: I was 15 and I had something happen to me. When I watched Dr. Ford, anyone who’s had something happen to them, you just get so angry when someone doesn’t believe you or say ‘why did you wait so long?’ It’s because we’re girls and we’re taught not to say anything and to go along with it. So you at 14, me at 15.

Busy: I’ve struggled with it for so long. Even when I wrote the chapter in my head, I had in my head an escape plan… if I panic and don’t want to put it out into the world. I just feel like we’re at that moment in time.

Busy on not telling her mom
I told my parents and my older sister five months ago, when the book was finished and I had come to peace that I was going to speak my truth. I said, ‘But Mom, I just want you to know’ — because she felt like she had failed me and didn’t protect me. And I understand that, being a mother, but I was like, ‘Mom, you are really the hero of my book.’ She really is. She was there for me. Without her, I wouldn’t be sitting here with you.

[From Ellen via People]

Busy really moved me here as did Ellen. None of us are obligated to reveal our pain or to open our wounds to prove our bravery. We are all courageous and we all stand together against abuse. We alone can tell our stories when and if we are ready. Dr. Ford’s testimony came at a great personal cost to her. She helped start a conversation will hopefully make changes for the next generation. As Ellen said, “Don’t ever be ashamed and think that it’s your problem and your fault. It is never your fault, you’re a child.


Photos credit: WENN

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25 Responses to “Busy Philipps on revealing her assault: ‘It’s sadly the most unoriginal horror’”

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  1. Sutcliffe says:

    I cry because I am angry and was taught that girls shouldn’t be violent. So I will keep crying so that every one of these sexual predator rape apologist turds drown in the flood.

  2. Cee says:

    I was 31 the first time I was sexually assaulted (I don’t know, to this day, if it was rape) by my then boyfriend. I only told my sister and therapist. My sister was apalled and asked me why I didn’t stop it. I got so mad at her, as if I could have! I was caught off guard by someone I trusted, the pain paralysed me and I didn’t know what to do. Next time, if there is one, I will know better.

    Stop telling us “why didn’t you report it?”, “why didn’t you stop it?” Those questions only increase our guilt, sense of shame and, worse, makes us look like we started it all, as if we had any control over the situation.

    • BengalCat😻 says:

      I was in my early 30s too. “He was paying the rent!” “We were engaged, he had every ‘right’ to my body”, god I’m so fucking tired of this shit. My heart goes out to all of you. ❤

    • escapee says:

      Cee- I am so very sorry for what you went through and what the response from your sister was. Sadly, so many people need educated on what a psychological toll sexual abuse causes. Your response during the assault is common. We are in the middle of prosecuting a family member who assaulted my 14 year old daughter and one of the things she struggles with is why she froze up and didn’t stop her assailant. She has had similar (and worse) responses from family on that side and currently has no contact with her father or anyone on his side of their family due to their ignorance. It is so maddening to know how much worse ignorant responses can make these horrific stories.
      From the bottom of my heart I hope you truly know that it is not your fault and so many people with intelligence and the ability to empathize support and believe you, whether you know them personally or not. I have been having my daughter watch stories like Busy’s to show her that she can still be happy and successful, that this will not break her. It’s hard for her to believe that though when people post things on social media calling Dr. Ford a liar because she can’t remember all the details of her assault or “it wasn’t that bad,” “she needs to get over it.” Those are some of the very things that scared my daughter into not speaking up.
      My friend posted this article from the APA, I wish more were being done to educate people on the psychological damage sexual abuse causes. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/09/report-sexual-assault.aspx.
      On a side note; I know this post is getting too long but I want to thank the commenters on this site. I read so many of your comments every day find sanity and strength from how you all seem to understand and express so much of what goes on in my head. I have actually copied and pasted some of your phrases into a letter written to my daughter’s father which will most likely never be read by him but makes me feel better to vent.

      • Anners says:

        Please please please tell your daughter that she did what she had to do to survive. There should be no blame and no recriminations or what ifs on her part. Hugs to you and your daughter and all the other survivors out there.

      • escapee says:

        Thank you Anners. We tell her things like that all the time and she is in counseling. She calls herself stupid for how she responded which breaks my heart. We have encouraged her to read some of the articles online where people post reasons why they didn’t come forward because so many of them are her own. “There’s no proof, it’s my word against his. It will ruin my family, my dad will blame me or tell me it wasn’t that bad.” I know it’s not her fault but she has to know that and we just aren’t there yet. She does have a LOT of support, everyone on my side of the family has come out in full support and been amazing (dad and I are not together and haven’t been since she was a toddler.) But it seems like one bad comment or deed undoes so much of the progress we are trying to make.

        If anyone has any good book, article etc suggestions or can give an example of something someone told them or did for them that helped them understand their own responses to an assault I would love to hear them. Also looking for any information on helping her deal with family on the other side who are refusing to believe or support her (despite this family member being accused previously – something I didn’t find out until after her assault came out). That is another issue that is just as traumatizing as the actual assault.

      • Seraphina says:

        Your daughter is so lucky to have you as her mom!!!
        Hugs and healing to you both xx

      • Hippo says:

        Freezing is such an unexpected reaction, but so common. I was raped by a boyfriend, and my mind and body froze. At the moment of assault, I couldn’t understand that somebody I loved could intentionally cause me pain and ignore my distress.
        I can handle confrontations with strangers. I’ve trained in martial arts for years. I can handle myself in a fight. But when my mind couldn’t process what was happening, I was paralysed.

  3. Notmyrealname says:

    These past few weeks have been so triggering for me. I was assaulted when I was a freshman in college by somebody who I was thought was a friend. His roommate helped spike my drink. I never reported it, still have not told my parents, and to this day only a handful of people even know about it. What put me over the edge was Dump’s heartless comments two days ago. It’s been 15 years and while I couldn’t tell you now what day (or even what month) it was, what I drank, or even the roommate’s name, I still remember the feeling of helplessness when I could barely move. I still remember how scared I was and how upset I was that he was going to take my virginity from me when I didn’t want it to be him. And I will never, ever forget what he said when he finished (“That’s all?”). It happened. You never forget even if some of the details get fuzzy. I skipped school that whole next week. The first person who checked on me was one of my closest friends, who is now my husband, and I told him everything. He was my rock then and he is now while all these horrible memories are flooding back.

    Busy, Dr. Blasey Ford, and all other victims who have spoken up are so brave. I wish I could be as brave as them, but I’m just not ready. It’s breaking my heart to see family and friends who I love making light of the situation or tearing Dr. Ford down. I’ve done so much unfriending/unfollowing this week. I just feel hopeless and no matter what we do we keep taking steps backward instead of forward. I’m scared and angry that some people are so worried about their sons that it won’t get any better for my daughter or anyone’s daughters.

    Thank you for letting me get it all out here. I read Celebitchy every day and the commenters here are so amazing. I feel comfortable telling my story here where I’m not anywhere else. Thank you for supporting survivors.

  4. Caitrin says:

    I was 27 when I was assaulted. I never told my parents – and my dad died suddenly shortly after it happened.

    The past couple of weeks have impacted me tremendously – and I know I’m not alone. I thought I’d dealt with it and moved on, only to find myself struggling emotionally last week during that hearing in particular.

    I just want y’all to know: I love you. I believe you. I support you.

  5. Grumpier than thou says:

    I was 23 when my landlord held me against a wall and touched me. I remember being paralysed with fear and not knowing what might happen. I remember his laugh. I remember staying up all night and then moving the next day because he had the key and could come back anytime. I don’t remember his name. I don’t even remember my address. Trump is disgusting and those women that laughed with him, the probability is that at least a third of them have a story. Mind boggling.

  6. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    I was 14 when I was attacked on a residential street in broad daylight. He came at me so fast, knocked me down, and tried to tear my shirt and bra off, his newspaper delivery bag swinging and spilling some of its contents. My friend helped fight him off. I don’t know which one of two possible streets it happened on. I am uncertain if it was 1981or ’82. I remember full leaves on the trees, and my light weight, light blue, fair-isle, drawstring waist sweater top, so it was probably late spring to early summer, or late summer to early fall. I know his name. We ( friend Greta and I) told my mother. She called his parents. Nothing happened. I recently contacted the AG in the state where it occurred. I have yet to get a response. I would not be surprised if he did it or worse to someone else after that.

    I was 24 when an ENT resident touched my ass and vulva through my clothes in the charting room. I reported it to my nurse manager, who then reported it to the chief resident. He said, she said. Nothing happened.

    My heart goes out to all of you out there. I am so fn sick of it all. Too many tears shed, it’s useless, I feel.

    And that’s fn depressing.

  7. Tania says:

    @Sutcliffe, @Cee, @BengalCat, @Notmyrealname, @Caitrin, @Grumpier, @NotSoSocialButterfly: I have read each of your comments and you are incredibly brave, incredibly strong, and incredibly human. I believe you. I believe every story that has come out. It doesn’t matter that you don’t remember every detail. It doesn’t remember that you don’t remember the street, the exact time, the exact date, the exact clothes your assailant was wearing. It matters that you know you are believed, that you are heard, and that we support you.

    I’ve read every single account that has been posted on this site. I have cried for you and with you and for myself. I don’t know what else to say but I feel I had to say something in acknowledgement of all the truth that has been spoke through these posts. This is an amazing group of women.

  8. me46 says:

    I haven’t been raped but when I was between 5-6,a boy a couple of years older than me tried to force me to touch his private parts. I refused and he threatened to beat me up and burn my parents house down. I never told anyone until a few years ago because I thought no one would believe me. The Kavanaugh hearings then the mocking of Dr Ford by trump has triggered anxiety,depression and sadness.

  9. Nubbins says:

    I was 7 years old when I was sexually assaulted by my friend’s dad. She often had me over to spend the night (she was 3 years older than me). She would sleep on her bed, and I would sleep next to her in her pull-out trundle bed. To this day, I remember every last detail of that night — even down to what nightgown I was wearing, what the bedspread looked like, and how I woke up and walked down the hallway, looking for the guy. Immediately after it happened, I woke up my friend and said “Your dad was in just in here and he was pulling on my nightgown and underwear. I woke up and saw him, and he ran out.” She became very angry with me and said, “You were just dreaming. That didn’t happen. And you’d better not say anything to anyone, or else you won’t be able to come over here anymore.” So… I never said anything… until I was in my 20′s.

    One day my mom tells me that this same guy was murdered over in Thailand by a girl’s family (we had moved away from this family when I was 11 and lost touch with them). Supposedly he had been over there messing with underage girls, and the families found out a bout it and took care of it. And, she told me that for years, he had been sexually abusing his daughter (my childhood friend), and she was now in a mental hospital because of it, had tried to commit suicide multiple times, and cannot live on her own. That’s when I finally told my story. My mom was shocked, to say the least, and asked why I never said anything to her way back when I was seven. I didn’t want to lose my friend, as crazy as that sounds now, and she had simply convinced my seven-year old mind that I was dreaming and it didn’t really happen. We came to the conclusion that this poor girl had been trying to use me as a “shield” to keep her dad away from her. She thought that if I was in the same room with her, he would leave her alone. That’s why she was always wanting me to come over and spend the night. I can’t even imagine her horror when I woke her up and told her what her dad did to me. And what it must have been like for her when I wasn’t there.

    My mom told my friend’s mother what I had confessed 20 years later, and she basically called me a liar. To this day the woman is in denial, even about what happened to her own daughter. I am 48 now. I have never told anyone else this story other than my mom. I feel like, with everything that is going on in the world right now, all of these stories need to be told. No more hiding. No more shame or fear. No more worrying about how much time has passed. This shit needs to stop.. today. My only consolation is the creep who did this to me and his own daughter, and who knows how many other girls, is no longer living, and is hopefully burning in hell.

  10. Nicegirl says:

    Sending my love and support to you all. xoxo

  11. Penguen says:

    As a survivor, I have nothing but love and respect for all of you who are able to share your stories.

    I also have nothing but love and respect for those of you who aren’t able to share.

  12. Jess says:

    My sister’s piano teacher repeatedly sexually assaulted her from the ages of 13 to 15. She told my mom multiple times when it was happening and my mom just brushed it off as “oh, he’s just an old man and he’s very friendly.” Um, no. Unwanted kissing and groping of an underage child is not “being friendly,” it’s a crime. I didn’t find out about the whole thing until ten years later when my sister was already married and had a kid! I was so angry with my mom for not protecting my sister and I was even angrier with myself for not protecting her. I’m three years older. I’m the big sister. I was supposed to protect her and I didn’t know anything had happened at all. So when people don’t believe individuals like Busy or Ellen or Dr. Ford, it’s like they don’t believe my sister. And I really can’t stomach that at all. Like, why wouldn’t you just believe someone when they say something like this?? It’s mind boggling.

  13. Jaded says:

    I was 13 when I was assaulted by a good friend of my parents. I told them the next day and the friendship was severed immediately. I was assaulted again when I was 21 by a nice guy on a first date. He walked me home along a beach and before I could reach my front door he had me on the ground, ripping at my clothing. Only screaming long and loud got him off me. I was assaulted twice more at 24 by men who owned the bar/restaurant where I worked part time. They locked me in their offices and mauled me until I started sobbing and screaming. I got fired as a result. It made me very fearful of men for a long time but also wrecked my self-esteem and filled me with guilt at putting myself in a situation where rape could happen. Took me a very long time to realize I did nothing wrong and finally get my self-confidence back. I look at the sad, scared, self-loathing young woman I was and compare her to what I’ve become today and shake my head in disbelief – it really is a trial by fire for so many women and I love all of you who have come forward to share your stories. It’s time to be proud of who we are and who we’ve become.

  14. Pandy says:

    This climate is stirring up a lot of ghosts … and a lot of anger (not that I haven’t always had a simmering rage I suspect). I don’t think i will ever ‘fess up to everything that’s happened to me, it hurts to pick at the scabs. Peace and healing to us all.

  15. Raina says:

    I am in awe of all the strength, honesty and courage I see from the women in this article and each woman here. This is another level of what true resilience looks like and it’s stunning how many have been in the same position. And, so many feeling alone at the time.
    But no one is alone in this.
    No victims here, just survivors.
    God bless.

  16. dawnchild says:

    I’ve read all your stories, and I believe you and send you love and strength. I’ve been there, and I’ve survived and become stronger and more compassionate than ever. In the long run, no one can shut us up…no one can shame us into silence.
    You are brave women (and maybe some men?) to tell your truths, and together we will change things for the better. I am so sure of it.

  17. HeyThere! says:

    I love being informed. I live to watch my daily world and local news…..I haven’t watch any news in WEEKS. I can’t. It hurts to bad. I feel so guilty being uninformed and living in my own bubble….but it stirs up a few dark moments from my past that I have dealt with and moved on from. Both cases were with boyfriends in my 20’s that I trusted.

    To everyone who shared today, I hear you. I believe you!!!! You are loved!!!