Wrestler Nikki Bella says she was raped twice when she was a teenager—once by a fellow high school student when she was only 15 years old, and again a year later.
Page Six reports that Bella recounts the rapes, and their harrowing aftermath, in Incomparable, the new memoir she co-wrote with twin sister Brie Bella. She describes the first assault as committed by someone she “thought was a friend,” at a high school party. Per Page Six:
“My virginity was stolen from me, without my consent,” she writes, according to Us Weekly. “I was raped, by a guy I thought was a friend, while I was passed out at a party. I’d had too many beers, and maybe some shots of hard alcohol, and I only woke up because my stomach hurt — I came to, and this guy was both on top of me and inside of me. I pushed him off and ran out of the room — he followed me down the hall and asked me if this meant we were now boyfriend/ girlfriend … I had never even seen a penis, yet I was no longer a virgin.”
Bella writes that she was later drugged and raped by a college-aged man when she was 16. Like many rape victims, she then spent years blaming herself for the assault.
“There is the horrible offense in the moment, and then the shame and blame that follow, and feel almost worse than the original pain,” she wrote. “When something like this happens to you, you understand the blame-the-victim mentality, how easy it is to feel shame rather than anger, how easy it is to feel like you could have stopped it yourself.”
“Light is being thrown on how screwed up office culture is for so many women, regardless of industry. But as you can imagine, Brie and I were ... upset. It was really scary to show up to work, as you felt like you could unknowingly mess up at every turn. We often felt like we were walking on eggshells,” Nikki writes. “There were nonsensical rules and rituals that you could never fully know until someone was kind enough to initiate you. Let’s just say that there was no formal onboarding process, and since we all work as independent contractors for WWE, there is no HR.”