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The E! News host opens up about suffering from scoliosis- and her painful past

April 01, 2015 11:00 PM

Giuliana Rancic finally speaks out about her Fashion Police controversy, the health problems she s kept secret, and why she s become shockingly thin. Subscribe now for instant access to the exclusive interview, only in PEOPLE.

She’s revealed personal heartache and private pain on her reality show, Giuliana & Bill, but Giuliana Rancic has kept one very painful part of her past a secret – until now.

The E! personality, 40, reveals in her new book, Going Off Script that for over a decade she suffered from scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that if untreated can lead to permanent deformity.

“The thing about scoliosis is it’s a different kind of ugly for a young girl,” says Rancic, who was diagnosed at 13. “It’s one thing to hate your hair or to have bad skin, but those are things you can hopefully treat. [Scoliosis] is very hard to camouflage and it’s all you think about all day, every minute of the day.”

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Because of the severity of her curve, one of Rancic’s hips was inches higher than the other. “I always wore baggy clothes,” she says. “And I trained myself so I always looked like I was leaning on something.”

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The memories are still difficult to recall for the mom of Duke, 2, (with husband Bill. “[As a teen] I tried to enter pageants and audition for movies and model, because I think I was hoping someday someone would tell me I was pretty. I just wasn’t. I was crooked.”

Corrective surgery at 21 straightened Rancic’s spine, but left her with a permanent scar and markedly “bony” shoulder blades, which were the focus of a heated weight debate when she wore a strapless dress at the Golden Globes in January.

“That was very hurtful to me because it was the first huge backlash about my weight,” Rancic explains. “And the thing is I’ve lived with my back and the way it looks since I was a little girl. My shoulder blades protrude as a result of scoliosis. Even if I gained 20 pounds, my bones would still look the way they do.”

But despite all the criticism, Rancic sees a positive outcome from her years of heartache. “I was called ugly my entire life but it made me who I am,” she says. “I always tell girls, whatever struggles you go through as a young woman, those are the things that become your power later. Even though it’s painful to think back on, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because everything I went through as a child got me to where I am today.”

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