Nikki Bella Opens Up About Being Raped As A Teenager
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In Nikki and Brie Bella’s new co-memoir, “Incomparable,” Nikki opens up about a very traumatic past, where she revealed that she had been the victim of sexual assault as a teenager.
In the book, Nikki reveals that at 15 years old, she was raped by a fellow high school student that she believed was a friend. At the age of 16, Nikki says she was raped again after being drugged by a college-age man.
“There is the horrible offense in the moment, and then the shame and blame that follow and feel almost worse than the original pain,” she wrote. “When something like this happens to you, you understand the blame-the-victim mentality, how easy it is to feel shame rather than anger, how easy it is to feel like you could have stopped it yourself.”
Speaking to PEOPLE about the topic, Nikki said that she tried to hold onto the blame for years, which caused her to lose some confidence, and that she wished she was able to let it go at a younger age. “When that happened to me, I immediately just felt so ashamed and blamed myself, and that’s what made me want to keep it such a secret,” said Nikki. “And keeping that a secret and blaming myself, I started to lose my confidence. I started to disrespect myself. And then the relationships I got into at a young age, I let other people disrespect me and felt like, that’s okay, this is what I deserved.”
However, Nikki says now that she’s ready to share her truth in the hopes that others going through similar situations can be helped as well. “When the #MeToo movement happened, I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” she said. “I feel like, if I’m having these younger women look up to me, maybe I can help them and have them not hold onto this as long as I did. It wasn’t until I was 28 and in a relationship where someone started to teach me how to respect myself. That’s how long I held on to things and felt I had no boundaries. And I’d always look at Brie like, ‘Oh, she has boundaries, she treats herself with such respect. How do I not have this?’ And I knew why. But I held onto it for so long. When I look back at just decisions I made based off of it, I wish I could have heard my words now as a 36-year-old woman then, and be like, ‘You’re going to be okay.'”