Bella Thorne took to social media to bravely share her own story about being molested several weeks ago — and now she is opening up and sharing more details about her harrowing experience. Back in December 2017, the actress came across a nasty tweet from a Twitter troll who felt the need to call out Bella's most recent photo, where she was wearing a purple suit. He then asked, "what happened to her?" since she has been, well, doing Bella, wearing whatever it is she wants, saying whatever she wants and just being herself. The Twitter user made a sick joke, tweeting, "What did Disney do to this girl?! I think she was molested," as if saying that something as awful and traumatic as being sexually assaulted must've happened when she was working, starring on Disney Channel's Shake It Up.
Bella decided to reply and let this person know that, yes, she was indeed sexually assaulted when she was younger — and it wasn't because of her time at Disney that she is the way she is now.
She then sent a follow-up tweet saying, "The world can be a sick place sometimes :/"
The world can be a sick place sometimes :/— bella thorne (@bellathorne) December 8, 2017
Bella took this truly horrid tweet as an opportunity to let everyone know sexual assault isn't something to ever joke about. Ahead of the 2018 Golden Globe awards, Bella decided to share more details about her experience with sexual assault in honor of standing and supporting the #Time'sUp movement. In case you missed it, this initiative to support and raise money for those who have had to endure sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.
Bella posted a photo of herself on Instagram with the caption, "I was sexually abused and physically growing up from the day I can remember till I was 14..when I finally had the courage to lock my door at night and sit by it. All damn night. Waiting for someone to take advantage of my life again. Over and over I waited for it to stop and finally it did. But some of us aren't as lucky to get out alive. Please today stand up for every soul Mistreated. #timesup."
But, then things took a turn for the worse because social media can be pretty awful sometimes. A Twitter troll accused the starlet of making up the story after she said, "never knew what was right or wrong growing up" because "I didn't know the person sneaking into my bedroom at night was a bad person." This is when someone actually called her out and claimed that if the story was real, Bella would have known who this person was and that they were bad. Well, that didn't sit well with the Famous In Love star and she wasn't going to stay silent about it. The tweet from the Twitter user has since been deleted but Bella's response is not.
She said, "fact that I have to explain myself. Trust me I knew him I saw his f-ckingface every single time don't think I'll ever forget a part of him."
One of Bella's pals, Tana Mongeau, decided to chime in on the conversation as well. But, this time, the vibe was much more positive and supportive of Bella sharing her story. She tweeted, "when u open twitter and see this. i'm always so proud of this girl."
when u open twitter and see this. i'm always so proud of this girl pic.twitter.com/dMtRuAAUWa— Tana Mongeau (@tanamongeau) January 8, 2018
Bella responded to Tana's tweet and said, "What about all the people that don't have an outlet like this to speak on. Are they being heard??" She makes a very valid point. The former Disney Channel star has a platform that can reach millions of people. She is sharing her story so that others can see they aren't alone in their journey. But, what the Time's Up movement is really all about – the initiative she supported ahead of the 2018 Golden Globes by sharing more of her sexual assault experience - is about giving a voice to those who have fewer followers, fewer fans and less of a public voice than celebrities do.
Bella went on to create an Instagram story video about staying strong. She actually sheds a few tears during the clip as well which makes her story, her life and her experience all that more relatable, heartbreaking, and certainly very real.
We commend Bella for sharing this story and giving more context to the bombshell tweet she dropped weeks ago. Of course, the actress didn't have to put all of this out there. But, by doing so, she is letting the world know that you really don't always know what's going on in someone else's life. Since she has come out with her story, her fans have since rallied behind her, sharing an outpouring of supportive tweets, which she has been liking.
"You are brave for letting the world know. You are loved and strong. Also, keep doing you cuz i love watching your insta stories. We need more love and positivity in this world and you bring it," one fan wrote to Bella. We should all be applauding the starlet for opening up about something deeply personal in such a public way, in an effort to help others. Bravo, Bella. We're all proud of you.
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.
This story was originally published on December 8, 2017. It has since been updated with new information.