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The Real’s Jeannie Mai is opening up about her childhood and the trauma she suffered in her own home.
Mai gave People an exclusive sneak peek of the latest episode of her Hello Hunnay YoutTube show, and admitted she was molested beginning at the age of nine. With her mom, Olivia TuTram Mai, by her side, the talk show host tells her quarter-million followers that she and her mom were estranged for nearly a decade because of the rift the abuse caused between the two.
“We had a major falling out from when I was about 16 to 24. I’ve never actually talked about that incident with my mom since then,” Mai says looking directly into the camera.
Before going into detail about their relationship, Jeannie shared a disclaimer about the conversation to come.
“We’re talking for the first time of how that affected us, and we hope that this can help you connect more with your mom, grow closer with your family and help you heal however you need to inside.”
“We needed to find a babysitter, so we called upon a family member,” she says. “He came over every single day and stayed with me after school.”
She continued, “I just remember one day this person sitting very close to me, we were playing video games, and he started to touch my thigh. I was also just stunned because I had never been intimately touched like that so I couldn’t tell if it was wrong, I just knew I was noticing it.”
“I remember him pulling me into that shower and it was the first time I have a seen a grown man and what he looked like,” she recalls. “I remember him telling me to touch him in certain ways.”
“This happened every day for a few weeks, and then it turned into months and I remember one year going by,” she adds. “I didn’t say anything because I was afraid.”
Jeannie says she tried to tell her mom, but “she didn’t get it.” The TV host says she eventually just became angry because her mom outright said, “I don’t believe you.”
It wasn’t until Olivia Mai and Jeannie reconnected when she turned 24 and heard her mom say, “All I can say is I’m really sorry,” that their relationship began to heal.
Watch their emotional conversation above.