AnnaLynne McCord, who played Naomi Clark in CW’s “90210,” is reflecting on the scene that triggered her memories of being raped.
The actress, who previously opened up about her experiences with sexual trauma, recalled feeling “broken” after filming a scene in which her character was raped by a faculty adviser.
“I was like, ‘What a great storyline, let’s do this,'” McCord said in a People interview published Thursday. “We dove in and we did the scene. It didn’t trigger anything.” However, McCord said she eventually “just broke” while filming the aftermath of the rape with her co-star, Jessica Stroup, who played Erin Silver.
“My heart, which was made to feel like love was a bad, dangerous thing, was just broken,” she said.
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McCord, 33, who said she was sexually abused as a child, added that filming the scene brought back memories of when she was raped by a close friend when she was 18 – something she said she subconsciously suppressed.
“My body froze and did what it did when I was little,” McCord recalled. “I just cut out awareness of what was happening.”
She attributed this detachment to her dissociative identity disorder (DID), which WebMD defines as a “form of dissociation…which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.”
“It wasn’t a conscious decision to shut it out,” she told the outlet. “My dissociation took care of that and absorbed the bubble of my trauma. My brain protected me.”
It wasn’t until years later that McCord was able to come to terms with her past, she explained, adding that going to therapy allowed her “to connect to my sexual abuse and face it.”
“I’m grateful to be on the other side,” she said. “Healing can be terrible. But I love my life.”
In 2014, McCord wrote about being sexually assaulted in a first-person Cosmopolitan article, writing that she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career when a friend attacked her as she slept. She did not identify the man.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, RAINN offers support through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE & online.rainn.org).
Contributing: The Associated Press