At first glance, actress Camila Mendes appears to have it all. With a starring role on Riverdale and a beautiful relationship with actor Charles Melton, this Brazilian-American star is just getting started. To get to this point, however, Mendes endured immense pain and hardships.
In a recent interview with Women’s Health magazine, Mendes revealed that someone sexually assaulted her during her freshmen year in college at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
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“I had a very, very bad experience; I was roofied by someone who sexually assaulted me,” the actress said in WH. Mendes said it was that traumatic experience that inspired her to get a tattoo that reads “to build a home.”
The 25-year-old star said that because of that terrifying period in her life combined with the fact that she never had a stable home, she’s yearned for stability and a healthy life structure.
“Moving around throughout my whole childhood was a bit traumatic,” Mendes said. “You’re constantly saying goodbye to people, and you’re constantly being removed from your identity. When you start to feel like you’re connecting with a group of people, an environment, and a home — a physical home — it can be destabilizing when you’re uprooted and taken somewhere else.”
She also shared that up until recently, she also suffered from an eating disorder but is now in recovery thanks to the help of health care professionals. The actress shared that her struggle with bulimia has made her see the importance of eating healthy and feeling better instead of focusing on appearance.
“I’ve only recently kind of gotten better,” she said. “It’s something that’s still a curse to me. It’s not like that ever goes away.” She added, “Whenever I do feel insecure, I go back to health. What can I do that’s healthy? Health is what’s important, not appearance. That mentality is what takes me out of the insecure, anxious thoughts.”
What’s noticeable about Mendes today is that her positive radiance is shining through. She’s healthier, stronger, and happier, and that is clearly thanks to her recovery from bulimia, positive people around her, and building the home she’s been in search for her entire life. She shared that she recently bought her mom a house in Florida and joyfully declared, “We finally have a home.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.