In her new book, ‘Rise: Surviving The Fight Of My Life,’ UFC star Paige VanZant speaks out for the first time about the darkest chapter in her childhood – being the victim of gang rape.
VanZant reveals that while at high school she attended a party, where a group of boys got her so drunk that she couldn’t defend herself when several of them proceeded to rape her.
“They move me around,” VanZant writes in the book of that nightmarish night. “They change my position. I fail each time I try to resist, my limbs like wet cement on my body, my brain a heavy fog. I am awake and conscious, but my body feels dead. I know what is happening but can do nothing to stop it. I have no voice or choice but to submit and pray that it ends soon.”
Word falsely spread around VanZant’s school that she had willingly let the boys have sex with her, which led to the youngster being relentlessly bullied, including one incident in which she returned home to find condoms hung up a tree outside her home like Christmas tree decorations.
It got so bad that VanZant even changed her name, ditching her original “Sletten” surname after her classmates cruelly branded her “Paige Van Slutton.”
Overall its a shocking revelation and no doubt it was tough for PVZ to speak out about it, but she says that the recent ‘#MeToo’ movement gave her confidence that she was doing the right thing.
“It was totally coincidental and I just couldn’t be more happy with the way it worked out,” VanZant said on ‘The MMA Hour show. “It’s like just so comforting that other people kind of took those steps almost before I did, because I’m not the first one. I’m not gonna be the first groundbreaking story. I get to kind of follow and learn from how they did it and see that if they did it, I can do it, too.”
Despite her past troubles, the 24-year-old insists that is all behind her, and the future is certainly looking bright for the UFC fighter, ‘Dancing With The Stars’ runner-up and now published author.
“It was definitely hard, but it has been 10 years,” VanZant said. “Now, with the position I’m in now, I’m much more confident and I’m moving forward and I’m so successful now it’s hard to look back and be sad.”