Senator tells of sexual, physical abuse
February 16th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Senator tells of sexual, physical abuse

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, said that he was sexually abused by a camp counselor at the age of 10, and physically and psychologically abused by his stepfathers, in an interview scheduled to air Sunday on CBS.

"Fortunately, nothing was ever fully consummated, so to speak," Brown said of the sexual abuse. "But it was certainly, back then, very traumatic."

"He said, 'If you tell anybody, you know, I'll kill you. You know, I will make sure that no one believes you,'" Brown said the abuser threatened him, in a clip of the interview released Wednesday by CBS. "And that's the biggest thing. When people find people like me at that young, vulnerable age, who are basically lost, the thing that they have over you is they make you believe that no one will believe you."

Brown said he had kept the sexual abuse a secret, even from his mother and wife.

"My mom will read about it for the first time," Brown said. "My wife has read about it. No, no, I haven't told anybody. That's what happens when you are a victim: you're embarrassed, you're hurt."

The 60 Minutes interview airs on the eve of the release of Brown's new book, "Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances."

Brown issued a statement a short time after CBS released the clip emphasizing that the abuse is just one part of his "life story."

"My book is about overcoming obstacles," Brown said in the statement. "The physical and sexual abuse is in my book. It's a part of my life, but it certainly isn't the only part of my life story which I tell. My book will be out on Monday and I hope people will read it and be inspired by its message."

The Massachusetts senator's office emphasized that as a state legislator he had always been an advocate for victims of sexual abuse.

Brown, a freshman senator, moved into the national spotlight in January 2010 after defying the odds and winning a special election to fill the remaining three years of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's term. Brown's victory was not only symbolic because Republicans took over the seat held by Kennedy, a Democrat known throughout the nation as the "liberal lion." But his win also gave Republicans 41 votes in the Senate, a powerful tool that allowed the GOP the ability to maintain a filibuster against Democratic legislative initiatives.

Brown is seeking re-election to his own six-year term in 2012.

Filed under: Scott Brown
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. steve

    typical politician trying garner votes as sympathy in the next election.
    i don't trust any of them

    February 16, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Emma

    Geez how come so rude. I am no fan of Scott Browns but some of you are acting like the tea party!!!!!

    February 16, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. fastrack

    He told "60 Minutes" before he told HIS OWN MOTHER? Dilutes any credence there may have been in this story...

    February 16, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. chedar

    Sen. Scott Brown is a descent man. He try to align himself as a centrist for the better of America. I wish more and more poltiicians are like him (either independent, repub or democrat) . i would give my vote to him if he run in national office. More power to you Brown. You are doing good in your position. Don't worry about those senile bunch of Tea Party Goer. They will eventually fade and die out. They are already old grouchy bunch of moron.

    February 16, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Sue

    I have things I tell my friends that I can't even tell my family. It is not easy to share personal things with family. They will get mad and say why didn't you tell us sooner. I find easier to tell somebody in counseling or a close friend but not my family. Also once family knows how long before the press gets a hold of this. Better to do it before a sleazy tabloid gets a hold of it. So he had this thing in the back of his mind all his life and probably felt ashamed of it but he shouldn't be. I hope you find the support you need at this time of your life Mr. Brown.


    February 16, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. FSmith

    How repulsive. Who cares? I don't. I'm so sick of hearing about these adults who've been abused as children and they use the media to let everyone know about it. Gross. In their early adult lives, with all the money they've accumulated, why don't they work behind the scenes to see that the perpetrator gets exposed and punished. The taxpayer doesn't need to know their personal aches. Male rapists should be 'inactivated', but male people are so intimidated by such an action that rapists are given free rein to rape once and rape twice and rape again, male or female. It's gotten comical when you see a rapist out raping again and again... Look at the latest incarcerated rapist out of jail and raped 22 more poor souls. Remove the offending instrument and the problem ends. Such a simple solution.

    February 16, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. A True Centrist

    People like Clyde and Sara are the reason the world is falling apart. I just hope this never happened to you or your children!

    February 16, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. dalis

    That's a level of cynicism that is beyond what I can stomach to doubt or dismiss someone's disclosure of abuse just because they belong to the OTHER party. He's still a human being with a need to heal even if he doesn't vote how you'd like.

    February 16, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. dave

    was it a priest?

    February 16, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. Mark

    1. I just don't understand peoples' need to air their dirty laundry. 2. Am I the ONLY person in this country who WASN'T sexually abused???

    February 16, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. PJ

    That probably explains why he is so homophobic. He is most likely a closet case. He has refused to meet with any gay groups from his State since taking office.

    February 16, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. LIP

    This is an opportunity to talk about sexual abuse with regards to women and what happens in the Muslim world and is all that more important that we not support a religion that condones mistreatment of women or anyone for that matter. Muslims that come to our country need to know that we respect everyone and that all people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that we do not support anything contrary to this.

    February 16, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. jim

    sympathy is working for giffords pole numbers – let's give it a try

    February 16, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    A few of you arm chair shrinks posting here are complete imbeciles to a abusive situation and the people involved..

    February 16, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Oh...well...I guess we just HAVE to vote for him in 2012 now. Earth to Scotty: Keep it to yourself...that's your personal life and nobody cares. Beam yourself up. The Mothership is calling you home, you pandering conservative pig.

    February 16, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
1 2