Talk show host and former Clueless star Stacey Dash may say ignorant things about race and politics, but we've got to give it to her: she's had a pretty rough life. In her memoir There Goes My Social Life, which comes out June 6, Dash reveals some of the formative events from her childhood that got her where she is today, and they're certainly not all rainbows and unicorns. There's some serious stuff she's recovering from.
In an interview with People about the book, the 49-year-old called her past "extraordinarily heavy." She was molested by a 16-year-old who knew her family starting at age four, and she became addicted to cocaine as a teenager. As if that weren't enough, she also got into a physically abusive relationship in her 20s. "Part of me felt like I deserved it because what I was coming from was no better," she said. "I didn't have an identity."
She said her ex-boyfriend even stalked her after they'd broken up and raped her at gunpoint once while her young son was sleeping nearby. "He had a gun to my head and I thought, 'My son is in that crib right there,' " Dash said. "[I thought], 'No you are not going to do this.' My son's life was more important to me than my own."
Dash told People that the next time her ex came back, she had a gun on her and used it to get him out of her home. "I wanted to kill him," she said, "but it scared him away."
Even though the interview focused on her own life, Dash didn't forgo the opportunity to bring up politics. It's because she had it so rough, she said, that she wants to make things better for others growing up in inner cities.
"When you get stuff for free, you have no self-worth," she explained. "When you have no self-worth, you become depressed, addicted, and either abused or an abuser. This is what perpetuates the cycle of violence in inner cities. We don't need free stuff. We need opportunities."
Whether or not we agree with the conclusions she's arrived at based on her past, her story does help explain why she's so passionate about these issues—and make her a bit more sympathetic despite the outlandish claims she's so often in the news for.
UPDATED 1:25 p.m. ET: This story was updated to include information about Dash's ex stalking her.