OFFSTAGE: Julianne Hough Reveals Childhood Abuse

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Julianne Hough , who had a country hit with “That Song in My Head” in 2008, is the cover story in the February issue of Cosmopolitan. But it’s not just a fluffy piece about being in love with American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest and dancing her way through TV and movies.

Hough talks for the first time about being abused as a child. It happened after she’d moved away from her Mormon family in Utah when she was 10 to join her brother Derek at the Italia Conti Academy of the Arts in London.

“While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything,” she says. “I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.”

Hough added that the abuse got worse when she hit puberty.

“I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl,” she recalls. “I wanted so much love.”