Carrie Ann Inaba is speaking out about sexual assault.
The Dancing with the Stars judge was a guest co-host on The Talk on Thursday. While discussing a new documentary about Whitney Houston that claims she was sexually abused by her cousin, late singer Dee Dee Warwick, Inaba said that she could relate as she too had been molested as a child.
“It’s so sad that she was molested,” said Inaba, 50. “Being molested is such a horrible thing and it does affect you. I think that the director’s right to notice that and try to figure it out. When you share that you’ve been molested, it’s usually to get some sort of closure for yourself or to make sure it doesn’t happen to other people, and I don’t think that that served any of those purposes in this case. I feel like it’s sensationalizing something and trying to get the most out of it for the documentary.”
Kevin Macdonald, the director of Whitney, told Indiewire that Houston’s half-brother, Gary Garland, told him he had been sexually abused as a child by Dee Dee and believed Houston had also been molested. The documentary premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday.
After host Sharon Osbourne said, “[Whitney] had a hole in her heart and she couldn’t fill it and that’s why she turned to drugs because she was desperately unhappy,” Inaba revealed, “It’s true, I was molested as a kid and I feel exactly what you just said, there is a hole in me that I can never fill.”
Inaba teared up and continued, “So I get that.”
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During an appearance on The Talk in October, Inaba opened up about her own #MeToo story involving a martial arts teacher who sexually assaulted her.
“What’s really important about shame is it’s something that you suffer alone,” she said. “Something happened to me when I was studying martial arts with the person training me. He did something inappropriate and pulled down my pants. I froze. Because I froze, I felt guilty. I felt guilty, but what was so great is that night I went home and I said, ‘I’m going to tell somebody because I didn’t do anything.’ “
“They actually told me to wear baggy clothes, nothing sexual, and I did,” she continued. “I was wearing a sweatshirt and the baggiest pants I could find. I knew maybe something in there told me it wasn’t my fault that it had happened. I told my friend and he said, ‘What are we going to do about it?’ Because of that, I walked away from that with no shame. I still have emotions about it, but I didn’t feel shame for me. If I didn’t, I would probably still be living with that kind of shame inside of me.”