The former Parenthood star was molested at age 7 by an 18-year-old neighbor, he said on Sirius XM’s The Jason Ellis Show. He said the abuse was “minimal,” but had a profound effect on him – and likely contributed to future addiction issues he has struggled with.
“It took me 12 years to tell anyone,” said Shepard, 41. “And then all that time, I was like, a) ‘It’s my fault,’ as generic as that is … ‘and I’m gay, I must have manifested this because I’m secretly gay.’ I had all these insane thoughts for 11 years or 12 years.”
Shepard, who shares two children with wife Kristen Bell, has been open about his struggles with addiction, and recently had a breakthrough when his mother, who works with children as a court-appointed advocate for Foster children, told him about a statistic concerning addiction and abuse.
“If you’ve been molested, you only have a 20 percent chance of not being an addict,” he said. “And I was like, ‘Hm, interesting,’ because in my mind I just like to have a f***ing great time,” he said. “But when you hear a statistic like that, I’m like, ‘Oh no, I was going to be an addict, period.’ ”