A former Disney star has publicly alleged that an unnamed older man who was involved in her career took advantage of her for nearly two years as a teenager.
Jordan Pruitt told her story in a Dec. 10 Facebook post titled “Secrets Make You Sick.” The 27-year-old singer said she was only 14 when the man started taking control of her life, and the sexual abuse soon followed.
Pruitt earned a name for herself at a young age by singing in Disney Channel original films. She was also a contestant on “The Voice.”
“It looked as if all my dreams were coming true,” she wrote. “And for the most part, they were. But, in the darkest crevice of my heart, would lie an insurmountable, undeniable, irrefutable amount of pain.”
Secrets Make You Sick. By: Me At just 14 years young, it looked as if all my dreams were coming true. And for the…
Pruitt grew up just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where she happily sang in church every Sunday. Her father, the praise and worship minister, always knew she would be a singer.
After signing a record deal, Pruitt was filming the music video for her song “Outside Looking In” on her 15th birthday, when she first realized a certain man was “grooming” her. But at such a young age, she wasn’t sure what exactly that would mean.
“I remember him having full control over what I was wearing and even what makeup they put on me,” she wrote.
One day, her record label hinted that she needed to lose weight, so the man hired a personal trainer for her and even started withholding food from her. She lost more than 20 pounds.
“I do remember having a childish crush,” she wrote. “This person was helping make ALL of my dreams come true, and thought I was so talented at every single thing I did.”
Little by little, the man convinced her to distance herself from her parents, as he became more and more inappropriate with her. She realized later that it seemed like he had done this kind of thing before.
“At fifteen this person had brainwashed me into thinking that the things that were happening were ‘natural’ and ‘okay,'” she said.
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"You don't know how it feels." I am sitting here smiling, but like each and every one of you, I have my struggles. I have dealt with depression, anxiety, the fear of not knowing the future which makes my anxiety worse. But I encourage each of you, to continue smiling, but not hide behind your smile. Be open with your feelings. Trust me, we want to listen. I am here for you. Friend. P.S. I recently wrote a song similar to this one, that I might be releasing soon.
Meanwhile, the man was engaged to someone else. Pruitt said that deep inside, she knew something was very wrong, but she felt trapped.
Eventually, she mentioned to a friend that the man was planning on “leaving his fiance” for her. Her friend was frightened and told Pruitt’s parents.
Pruitt’s parents were so shocked, they called the police. However, Pruitt was still too scared to talk to anyone about the abuse.
“I told them that nothing had happened other than that this man had developed a sick obsession with me,” she wrote.
That information alone was enough to make her parents furious. However, the man made it nearly impossible for Pruitt to cut ties with him, and she almost lost her record deal in the process.
“At this point, I wasn’t even eating and could barely get out of bed. I remember very vividly staying in my room for two weeks straight and contemplating suicide every single day,” she wrote.
Pruitt said afterward she felt “so dirty.” She developed PTSD, depression, anxiety, and sometimes daily panic attacks.
“Somehow with the help of a manager, and the beauty which is God’s Love, I started to rebuild myself. I started writing again for a new album. I found love with a tour mate. I found happiness again,” she wrote.
Pruitt is now married and songwriting for publishing houses in Nashville. She also works at a law firm and still performs occasionally. She’s looking into the possibility of working in entertainment law.
She finally went public with her story of abuse after speaking to a therapist who told her, “Secrets make you sick.” She hopes anyone with similar experiences might find a little bit of hope in her words.
“I want everyone to know that through ANY horrible experience YOU are not over, and YOUR LIFE is not over,” she said. “Life does go on after something like this.”