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. Brandon V. in DFW

    If you haven't told anyone, not even your mother. Why on God's green earth would you tell an interviewer for 60 minutes? Like seriously! I have one or two secrets I have never told my mother, but you best believe I would not go on national television and tell those secrets before I told her. This is crazy. And I'm not condoning what happened to him, I just think it is crazy you would tell a nationwide audience something this personal that you haven't shared with your closest family members.

    February 16, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I hate anyone who abuses a child and "back then is traumatic" but moving forward takes on a life of it's own.

    February 16, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. jeff, alabama

    Sympathy votes for the future ?
    I find it hard to believe he would
    tell a journalist about something
    this sensitive before he would
    tell anyone else.
    That part of the whole thing
    is pretty much a give-a-away
    that it is for sympathy in the next

    February 16, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. In the West

    Sexual abuse and violence against children are far more prevalent than most people realize, and surprisingly high among religious conservatives. We should all be more aware of this and the feelings kids like Brown live with as they grow up.

    February 16, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. a little sad

    Is that supposed to explain away the posing naked bit?

    February 16, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Olaf Big

    He has never revealed it to anybody? Then why do it now? He is certainly not breaking any new ground here. Frankly, I find it odd and a little sick that one would first confide in tens of millions of TV viewers something he has never revealed to his family or his closest friend. This just takes the sincerity out of it, but then sincerity is not a quality one associates with politicians. I find it really hard to empathize with such public confessions.

    February 16, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Lots of people have experienced an assault, as a child. It is a much wider problem, than most people realize.

    February 16, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Monster Zero

    Why is it that once these idiots make it to fame of sort they all think America cares what happened to them when they were 10? They all want to be victims...Oprah Winfrey, Janet Jackson, Roseanne Barr and now Scott Brown.

    Man up and lead puss cake!

    February 16, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. John

    Poor man, having to live with this.

    February 16, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. lgny

    I along with millions of others across the nation are sorry to hear of this. As a child, you deserved better than this. Our prayers go with you.

    February 16, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. sara

    Don't Believe You.

    February 16, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Scott Brown has my respect for making this public knowledge. By many high profile people revealing these abuses, it helps bring an awareness to the American public that we have a serious problem in this country with sex offenders. My guess is, that a very small percentage of people who were abused as a child have made it known to anyone.

    February 16, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    "He said, 'If you tell anybody, I'll kill you. I'll make sure nobody believes you,'"

    It's a HE – the number one problem in the world – the HEs!!! Little marijuana dealers/users back and forth in jail – doing time – probation violations getting six months for “petty crimes” and the rapist are set free and trusted to register in some SEX OFFENDER database (and they don't).

    Scott Brown is a MAN and had to live with that all of his life!!! I wonder how the person is LIVING who molested him???? I am sorry he had to go through this – NO ONE should go through this!!

    Keep SEX OFFENDERS in prison – not our "misdemeanor" citizens!!!

    February 16, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Clyde

    Is anyone buying this story? Anyone?

    February 16, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Mickey, NY

    His disgusting comment about his daughters during his campaign seems to tie in with untreated PTSD due to his abuse.

    February 16, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Joshua Ludd

    Well, I hope only for the best for Brown and his family, but I do have to say... its nice to hear a politician admitting to sexual abuse that he wasn't the perpetrator of.

    February 16, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. CNN The Masters of Spin

    I was orally and finacially abused by Scott Brown......I donated money to his campaign and later discovered he is nothing but a Liberal Democrat who calls himself a Republican. The only reason he is doing that is because he knows that the Tea Party is about to Kick him out along with some other hypocrites.

    February 16, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. CNN The Masters of Spin

    I was morally and finacially abused by Scott Brown......I donated money to his campaign and later discovered he is nothing but a Liberal Democrat who calls himself a Republican. The only reason he is doing that is because he knows that the Tea Party is about to Kick him out along with some other hypocrites.

    February 16, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. MS

    I've known many victims of sexual abuse and I wish Mr Brown the best.

    February 16, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Irma in North Carolina

    Cant believe this guy. What is his family going to say and also his wife? Maybe this happened to all the tea party gang and their followers.

    February 16, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. pdxkim

    wow, what a brave man. good for him, it obviously needed to come out and he had the strength to say it. i suspect he feels a lot better now.

    A LOT more people would be helped if they did the same thing. hiding an ugly violation like that always manifests itself in bad ways if ignored-drinking, raging, eating, abusing others, etc...

    i dont agree with most of his politics, but i do respect him a lot for his bravery and openness, he's helped a lot of people already. the more high-profile people who do the same, the better, cuz all forms of child abuse have GOT to stop. it's so prevalent i believe it plays a big part in how damaged this country and its people have become.

    February 16, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. ConservaFascists

    Sounds like a plea to get re-elected. Why didn't you mention this during your campaign to get elected. Who is the perverted perpertrator Scottie?

    February 16, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Elizabeth

    As a native of Wrentham, Massachusetts, where Scott Brown resides my heart goes out to him and his family. It takes a lot of courage for someone to share their ordeal, male or female. I hope his abuser (if still alive) will be brought to justice for the physical, mental and psychological abuse that he/she inflicted on him and posibly others.

    February 16, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. bj

    I thought if you were sexual abused your life was ruined and your were unsuccessful, in and out of therapy all your life and that you had sexual problems. This is what all the experts say-but yet here is a health, sexual, successful middle aged man whom has respect, dignity and didn't let the past control his future. Scott Brown may be a victim of sexual abuse but he didn't let it destroy his life for ever and he doesn't run around demanding he is a victim of sexual abuse and how it has effected him so negatively that he is lost in the world.

    February 16, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. Laverne

    Okay, somebody must have threatened to tell his secret. I don't think he is coming out with this because he wants to help people who were or are abused. He wanted to get out in front of the story and noticed how he main a point to let everybody know he was not penetrated, abuse is abuse period!

    February 16, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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