Sheryl Underwood Fights Back Tears While Discussing Her Rape
Sheryl Underwood is not hiding a painful — and life-threatening — moment from her past.
On Sunday’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian West detailed the terrifying night last fall when she was bound, gagged, held at gunpoint and robbed of millions of dollars worth of jewels in her No Address during Paris Fashion Week.
“I slid off my bed and picked up my phone and I’m like I don’t know how to call 911 in a different country,” Kardashian West, 36, said about five masked men entering her room when she was alone on Oct. 3. “And so I called Pascal [Duvier, my bodyguard,] and then the guy came and grabbed the phone from me, threw me on the bed and I was like, This is it.”
Similarly, Underwood, 53, also had a “this is it” moment when she feared for her life.
“I looked at the footage with Kim and in her retelling the story, she looks traumatized. But for her to go through that process and try to think her way through it, I remember having a ‘this is it‘ moment when I was raped,” Underwood shared on Monday’s episode of The Talk about being sexually assaulted just after finishing college.
“I just kept thinking, This ain’t it. I am not going to die today. I refuse to die today. It’s not going down like this. So the only thing I thought was: What do I do to survive? What do I do to survive?” the co-host said.
In that moment, Underwood said that she began “negotiating” with her rapist that he not kill her.
“And I start talking to the guy and I said, ‘Don’t do this this way. Whatever you’re going to do, finish what you’re doing — don’t kill me. And don’t take my ID. They’ll find you,’ ” said Underwood.
Fighting back tears, the CBS co-host also encouraged women to hold on to their power: “I really want women to understand: Don’t ever let anybody take your power away from you.”
Last March, Underwood spoke with PEOPLE about being raped — and why chooses to live her life as a survivor.
“I’ve been through a lot,” the comedian said. “But it’s not all ‘woe is me.’ This is a journey.”
“Everything I went through made me stronger,” said Underwood, whose rapist was never caught. “You may never forget it, but in remembering it you should make it better for the next person.”