Former 'ANTM' Judge Opens Up About Childhood Sexual Assault

Earlier this week, Nigel Barker, former America's Next Top Model judge and current host of the radio show "Gentleman's Code," disclosed that he was sexually assaulted as a child.

His story is especially timely, as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Huffington Post reports that he shared his experience "to increase visibility surrounding an issue affecting hundreds of thousands of people annually and to address how it impacts men in particular."

On his show, Barker recalled that when he was just eight years old he was approached by a middle aged man.

“I went up to the door and read the names on the buzzers…I went to push it, and he pushed me from behind, jolted me through the doors and I fell to my feet inside the door. The door closed and I’m now trapped between a stairwell inside and a shut door. I have a man who is much bigger than me, push me to the ground, grab me, pull my trousers and my pants down. I’m now exposed, and I’m screaming and thrashing.”

Barker was able to break free from the predator but was still deeply scarred by the incident. He didn't tell anyone until his sister revealed that she also was a victim of sexual assault three years after Barker's assault.

"I didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t tell my brothers. I told no one. I was scared. I was worried. I thought I had done the wrong thing. I thought I had done the bad thing. It was something that stuck with me for a very long time."

Barker encouraged others to open up about sexual assault without fear, despite the stigma that surrounds it. 

If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact a therapist or doctor or call the helpline at 800.656.HOPE (4673).