Demi Moore said she was raped at age 15 by a man who paid her alcoholic mother $500 for the unspeakable act.
The 56-year-old opened up about the shocking episode, which she initially detailed in her new memoir “Inside Out,” with Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America” Monday.
Moore has dedicated the book to her three daughters as well as her troubled mother, who died in 1998.
According to the actress, the incident took place when she came home one night and an older man she and her mother knew was in the apartment. After he raped her, Moore says the man asked her how it felt “to be whored by your mother for $500.”
“I think, in my deep heart no — I don’t think it was a straightforward transaction,” Moore told the television journalist about whether she felt her mother sold her.
“But she still — she did give him the access and put me in harm’s way,” Moore shared.
Moore’s upbringing was far from loving. The star said both her parents suffered from alcoholism and the family moved across the country frequently as they faced debt. Moore said she was 12 when her mother first attempted suicide.
“I remember using my fingers, the small fingers of a child, to dig the pills my mother had tried to swallow, out of her mouth,” Moore recalled in her book.
Moore also told Sawyer, 73, that her mother attempted suicide “many, many times.” The actress also learned that the man she believed and loved as a dad was not her biological father. Moore then told herself that “I wasn’t wanted, or that I don’t deserve to be here.”
After Moore’s parents divorced, she lived with her mother, who would bring her along to bars in hopes of attracting men.
Attempting to escape her shattered childhood, Moore dropped out of high school and left her home. It was then when she decided to attend acting auditions despite lack of training.
“I mean, I was figuring it out, by the seat of my pants,” said Moore. “The school of ‘fake it till you make it… I don’t have anything to lose. I don’t have anything, so why not?”
Moore’s big break came at age 19 with a role in the soap opera “General Hospital.” Moore said she was in over her head and started using alcohol and later cocaine to cope with her fears. And like her parents, Moore suffered from blackouts.
“I don’t have an off switch,” recalled Moore. “I don’t have the thing that says, ‘This is enough.’”
Then in 1984, Moore earned the role of party girl Jules in the 1985 film “St. Elmo’s Fire.”
“I mean, I think the irony certainly was not lost on me,” said Moore.
Moore said she easily identified with her character and that the film’s producer and director insisted that she go to rehab. Moore committed to sobriety and her pledge lasted “almost 20 years” until she reached her 40s, when she relapsed.
“[It was] a profound gift that they gave me,” she said, speaking about sobriety.
Moore’s career in Hollywood skyrocketed, but not without its challenges. When Moore was cast in 1992’s “A Few Good Men,” opposite Tom Cruise, a studio executive insisted for their characters to have a romance.
“[The studio executive asked], ‘If there wasn’t gonna be a sex scene, then, you know, why was I in it?’” said Moore.
Ultimately, Moore defied expectations and became the highest paid actress in Hollywood, with a $12.5 million salary. She said some critics consequently gave her the nickname “Gimme Moore.” She chose to ignore them.
“Why shouldn’t I?” said Moore. “Why shouldn’t all women be paid equal to the quality of the work they’re doing? Just treat me the same. No better, no worse.”