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OTRC: Julianne Hough: 'I was abused mentally, physically' as a child

Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel appear in a scene from the 2013 film 'Safe Haven.' / Hough appears on the cover of the February 2013 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. (Relativity Media / Cosmopolitan)

Julianne Hough is opening up in a new interview about the mental and physical abuse she experienced as a child while studying dance in London.

The actress and former "Dancing With The Stars" professional dancer talked in an interview with Cosmopolitan for their February issue for the first time about her abuse. Hough, who is also on the cover of the magazine, said the abuse occurred while she was attending the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.

"I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer," she told the magazine. "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. I wanted so much love."

Hough comes from a family of dancers. Her grandparents and parents were dancers and after her parents divorced when she was 10, Hough left Utah to join her brother at the prestigious school.

"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she said before later adding that the abuse became worse "when I started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."

Hough declined to name her abusers and added, "I'm a very forgiving person, and I don't want to hurt anybody. What's past is past."

Hough also talked to the magazine about shooting her latest movie "Safe Haven." In the film, Hough plays Katie, a woman who survives abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Katie is on the run and escapes to North Carolina where she eventually meets and falls for a widower named Alex, played by Josh Duhamel. The movie is based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks.

Director Lasse Hallstrom almost did not cast Hough in the role because he thought she "might not have the emotional range," he told the magazine. However, after meeting her in person, the director found Hough to be "honest and direct and wonderfully fearless."

Hough's issue of Cosmopolitan becomes available on January 8. "Safe Haven" hits theaters on February 14. Check out the trailer below.

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