Jeannie Mai Explains How Being Sexually Abused Led to an 8-Year Rift With Her Mom

The Real co-host has an honest conversation with Olivia TuTram Mai about their rift

By Mike Vulpo May 22, 2019 11:59 PMTags
Watch: Jeannie Mai Talks About Being Sexually Abused in the Past

Jeannie Mai's relationship with her mother has come a long way.

In a new episode for her YouTube series Hello Hunnay With Jeannie Mai, The Real co-host sat down with Olivia TuTram Mai where she shared a personal confession.

According to Jeannie, she was sexually abused by a family member when she was nine.

"We've talked before that we had a major falling out when I was about 16 until I was 24. I've never actually talked about that incident with my mom since then," she explained in the latest episode. "We're talking for the first time about how that affected us."

In the personal video—released first to People—Jeannie said a family matter was called upon to babysit after school. And while the family member is not named, the talk-show host said her relationship with the individual took a turn for the worst.

Jeannie Mai Learns She Has to Let Go to Move Forward

"I just remember one day this person sitting very close to me, we were playing video games, and he started to touch my thigh," Jeannie shared. "I was also just stunned because I had never been intimately touched like that so I couldn't tell if it was wrong, I just knew I was noticing it. I was almost narrating it in my head."

Jeannie said she tried to confide in her mom about the abuse. But according to the producer, her mom just "didn't get it."  

"I began to get angry because now I'm telling my mom that he's taking off my clothes and you said, ‘I don't believe you,'" Jeannie said.

She ultimately left home at the age of 16. As for her mom, she later decided to confront the alleged abuser who begged her not to turn him in to authorities.

"That right there is all I needed to know," Jeannie shared. "That you believed me and you listened and that you would go and try and do something about it. I just needed your support. I feel like you just set something free inside of me because you believed me."

New episodes of Hello Hunnay with Jeannie Mai premiere every Thursday at 10 a.m. PST on YouTube and Facebook.