The Extant actress believes that one of her life’s purposes is to “help others, especially women” after feeling “helpless” when she was younger and her mother was being “battered and beaten”.
Speaking at a fundraiser for the Jenesse Center, a national domestic violence prevention and intervention organisation, she said: “I saw my mother battered and beaten for many years of my life and I felt helpless. And that’s what connects me to this organisation.
“I have an understanding, a knowing. I feel like I have something that I can impart to these women. It seems like I’ve overcome it, but I really haven’t.
“In the quiet of my mind, I still struggle. So while I’m helping these women, I’m helping myself through it, too. And that’s largely why I’m here.”
The 49-year-old beauty – who recently split from husband Olivier Martinez – admits that fundraising for such a cause is often difficult because it “is not always that sympathetic”.
She added: “For some reason, I’ve found after 15 years of working with the Jenesse Center, that when it comes to domestic violence people just say, ‘I don’t get it. Why don’t they just leave?’ This is ridiculous!”
And the mother-of-two – who has previously revealed a former partner hit her so hard they burst her eardrum – believes many victims of domestic abuse are “love addicts”
She said: “I call [these women] addicts. They’re love addicts … they’re addicted to the pain. And they’re largely addicted to the pain because they’ve been taught nothing else. They haven’t been taught that they have self-worth or value. They often weren’t loved the way they should’ve been as children from their mothers or their fathers. People didn’t say the things they should have said.
“They go into the world feeling knee-high to a bullfrog … and they’re not equipped to deal with that that is coming at them at rapid speed. They quickly become victims of predators who just prey on their insecurity and lack of knowing who they are.”