In less than a week, fans will get an all-new look at the life and career of one of this generation’s greatest actors – John Stamos. The 60-year-old is releasing his memoir If You Would Have Told Me on Tuesday (Oct. 24) and is opening up about one of the many revelations he makes in the book ahead of its release.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE magazine, Stamos opened up about a vulnerable time in his life – revealing that he was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of his babysitter. It wasn’t until he wrote the book that he realized how inappropriate her actions were and that’s why he’s speaking out about it now.
He does, however, admit that this isn’t the first time he considered speaking out about the alleged abuse. Several years ago, he was receiving an award for his advocacy for abused children and he considered talking about the abuse in his acceptance speech, but he decided against it because the time wasn’t right.
“I started to write it, and that’s when it really came out. And then I thought, ‘No, tonight is not about me. It’s about the kids. I’m going to pack it away again until the right moment. Otherwise, I’m a phony f—. It’s like, ‘Come on,'” he told PEOPLE– adding that he ‘didn’t want the headlines to be’ about his allegations.
In fact, he admits he didn’t even want the book to be about that and says the abuse originally took up just one page of the book, but he felt he ‘had to talk about it.’ He goes on to reveal that the abuse happened when he was 10 or 11 years old and expresses how he ‘shouldn’t have had to deal with those feelings.’
“I mean, I knew, it was always in the back, and I do so much advocacy for the [survivors]. I felt like, I remembered it slightly. It has always been there, but I packed it away as people do, right?” he said. “It was like you’re playing dead so they’ll stop. But it wasn’t totally aggressive. I don’t know, it was not good.”
He also admits that he originally intended to ‘write a hero story,’ but things started to change the more he wrote – eventually settling on telling ‘a human story’ instead. “Because with the hero story, that’s bulls***. Unless I was a hundred percent forthcoming, what am I doing this for, right? But it was hard,” he says.
John Stamos on How Being a Father Changes His Mindset
In 2011, John Stamos met his future wife, Caitlin McHugh, while filming an episode of Law & Order: SVU. They didn’t start dating until five years later (2016), but their love blossomed quite quickly following that. Stamos got on one knee and popped the question on Oct. 23, 2017 before tying the knot in Feb. 2018.
On April 10, 2018 – just a few months after getting married – the couple welcomed their first child together (a baby boy named William “Billy” Christopher Stamos). Stamos was 54 years old at the time, while McHugh was 31 when Billy – now 5 years old – was born. They’re loving every minute of parenthood.
In his interview with PEOPLE, Stamos talks about how being a father has changed his perspective on the sexual abuse incident with his babysitter – now that he’s able to look at it from a father’s point of view. “But I’ll tell you, if I found out someone was doing that to my son, that’s a totally different story,” he says.
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