February 16, 2011
Sen. Scott Brown has revealed he was sexually abused by a camp counselor as a child.
The Massachusetts Republican, who rose to political stardom when he won the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy a year ago, is expected to discuss the childhood abuse in his book, "Against All Odds."
Saying he's never told anybody about the trauma, Brown opened during an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday. Though he also suffered physical abuse at the hands of his stepfathers, Brown revealed he was sexually abused, multiple times, by a camp counselor who threatened to "kill" him if he talked about it.
"Fortunately, nothing was ever fully consummated, so to speak, but it was certainly, back then, very traumatic," Brown said. "He said 'If you tell anybody, you know, I'll kill you. I will make sure that no one believes you.'"
Brown said not even his mother knew about the abuse, explaining he was "embarrassed" and "hurt" by what he went through.
"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," the senator said.
Brown issued a brief written statement Wednesday addressing the subject matter in his upcoming book.
"My book is about overcoming obstacles. The physical and sexual abuse is in my book," Brown said. "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."
A Brown aide noted that when he was a state legislator, Brown worked on a number of bills to toughen sex-offender laws and strengthen protections for victims. He also proposes eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual abuse.
According to CBS, Brown explained in the interview that writing about the incidents felt cathartic. In the interview, he recalled how he also at one point wished he could have bought the house where he used to live with one abusive stepfather when it came up for sale -- so he could destroy it.
"I said, 'Man, I wish I had the money. I'd just buy this thing and burn it down,'" Brown said.
He suggested his past has made him stronger as a politician.
"When I'm getting the crap beat out of me outside, in the political spectrum, I'm like, 'Psst. This is nothing. Bring it on. Let's go'."