LOS ANGELES – To the outside world it may look like Alana Stewart has led the good life with a lucrative career as a model, actress, and producer, marriages to George Hamilton and Rod Stewart, and rich and famous friends.
But in her memoir "Rearview Mirror," Stewart tells a very different story, one marked by poverty, abandonment and tragedy.
“A lot of people would think I have led this easy kind of charmed life, or maybe even a fairytale in some ways. But it has been anything but that. I felt that by sharing some of the difficult times I have been through, I may be able to shed some light and help other people who are going through similar things,” Stewart told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “(Reliving the past) was painful and difficult and depressing, but the thing I kept reminding myself was that I got through it and that is what I hope anyone takes away. There is a way to get through anything, and I had a very strong belief in God and I had a lot of faith even when I didn’t know I was exercising it."
One of Stewart's most difficult stories to retell was when she was raped at knife point during a home invasion when she was just 18.
“One of the main reasons I shared the rape is because it still today is a touchy subject, it was such a shameful thing even then, and it always is no matter how it happens because a woman always thinks it is never going to happen to her. When it does happen, it is such a humiliating and shameful thing. Back in those days, when the Texas police came, they made me feel like I had done something wrong that I had let this person in or I had known them,” Stewart said. “It was so shameful I never told anyone until years later. It was so painful that I just stuffed it down, but it was a transformational moment for me because it is what gave me the real push just to get out of Texas and move to New York and start a new life. I had wanted to get away from my mother and her drug addiction, so when that happened it was the final straw.”
Today Stewart credits one thing to her survival and success in the Big Apple, having arrived at age 19 with no money, no job, and no friends or family to lean on.
“I didn’t realize at the time, but I had some belief and some faith that there was a God and I would get through and I would make it,” she said. “If you have the type of faith and perseverance I had I think you can get through most things.”
Stewart refers to her first husband George Hamilton as a “terrific man” and one of her closest friends to this day, but says when her marriage to British crooner Rod Stewart dissolved after five years, she was devastated.
“I had three small children and I was raising them all on my own and I still hadn’t dealt with a lot of my own demons so I don’t think I was emotionally as present as I wish I had been. I think I instilled good values in my children, and I always loved them and I was always there for them and still am, but I always feel like I could have been a better parent,” she said. “After my marriage to Rod broke up, I was at the lowest point in my life. I was absolutely devastated by the breakup of my marriage. It was so hard to pick up the pieces, everything in my life I had tried to run from just suddenly came bubbling up to the surface.”
Stewart said being with best friend Farrah Fawcett as she succumbed to cancer was another trying time.
“I had never experienced watching someone you love, slowly die. In the beginning we never thought she was going to die – she was so strong and full of life. She and everyone around her thought she was going to beat this thing, I was sure she was going to beat it,” Stewart added. “The documentary we did “Farrah’s Story” was never supposed to be a documentary, it was just her giving me her little camera and asking to film all of her doctors meetings so she could log it. It was never meant for the public to see, but eventually she decided to let it become a documentary. It was supposed to be about her beating cancer and going outside traditional medicine, and it just tragically didn’t work that way.”
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay