Courtney Stodden poses with balloons and a cake as she celebrates her birthday in Palm Springs, 08/29/2020.
Ten years ago, I turned 16. Nothing could have prepared me for what was around the corner. I had a child’s mind, a teenager’s body, and I was a virgin. However, it appeared to everyone around me that I was a woman who was grown and able to make my own choices. According to many, I was “mature” enough to date men my father’s age (or older), and eventually, marry one. Looking back, I now see how desperately I craved my own father’s attention. He didn’t teach me how to drive. I didn’t know how to write a check. I never went to prom. Instead, I dropped out of high school, went to Las Vegas, and with the blessing of my parents, I wed a 50-year-old man I had just met in person. I gave him my all – my body, my mind, my heart, my soul. No one stopped me. No one stepped in and said that this wasn’t okay. Instead, after achieving a kind of fame I wasn’t prepared for, the world became my jury. I hid myself beneath a blonde mask, and eventually I lost my complete identity. I was the victim of sexual assault, abuse and rape. I’m putting this out here now, on the eve of my 26th birthday, because I’m in the middle of exposing all In my memory! I am focused on unburying that 16-year-old and reveling in the 26 year old I’ve become! I hope you will be here to support me when I come out the other side!