Kristen Doute is coming forward as a sexual assault survivor.
The reality star of Vanderpump Rules fame is just days away from the release of her new book, He's Making You Crazy: How to Get the Guy, Get Even, and Get Over It. In revisiting her own dating history in the book, the 37-year-old star also addressed experiencing sexual assault for the first time publicly. While the book is not out until June 2, Doute discussed her decision to share her truth with readers in a new interview on the Knot Too Taboo podcast, hosted by Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley, to be released on Wednesday.
"That chapter ["Nonconsensual"] was not something that was ever, like truthfully, in the back of my mind to even write about when we wrote this book," Doute said, according to an exclusive sneak peek of the interview shared with E! News.
As Doute explained, toward the end of the writing process co-author Michele Alexander "started thinking of big universal truths that she knows for a fact, whether she's been through it or someone she knows has been through it...She point blank asked me if I had ever experienced sexual assault."
While Doute was caught off-guard, "I just blurted out yes."
"I struggled with the sexual assault chapter because the book is so, for the most part lighter-hearted and funny," Doute continued. "I make fun of myself as much as I make fun of the guys who have wronged me."
However, they decided, "If we're being very, very honest with the reader, we have to be honest about everything...I don't get into my personal story in detail by any means, but I really thought it was important to let the reader know I have been through it."
Doute also recalled making excuses for what she had faced. "When you read the chapter, at the time I wasn't brave enough to step forward," she told the co-hosts. "I did make a lot of excuses. I tried to rhyme and reason why did I put myself in that position? Or was I too drunk? Or, like, how could it be my fault? Am I going to ruin his life? Are people going to believe me?...All these thoughts racing through my head and I really tried to shut it down for so long that I finally had to come to terms with it that, like, this did happen to me and I need to not let it affect every relationship moving forward."
As Doute went on to explain, certain experiences she had with men "were part of what molded me as a woman until I was ready to grab on to that and say, 'Ok, I need to deal with the fact that this happened and what sort of effect does it have on my psyche or my emotions and the way that I trust men.'"
"That didn't come until much later in adulthood when I decided to go to therapy and try really teaching myself about my self-worth," she said. "When I came to a realization of self-love and self-worth, I'm like, I'm not jaded. I'm hopeful. I want a healthy relationship."
While she doesn't know if she will get married or have children, Doute said she "is hopeful for those things, but I know that I need to deal with all of this stuff and really know my self-worth and not allow those things to be dragged into my next relationship with a man who could be wonderful and trustworthy and honest and great and not kind of blame him for the things that have happened to me in the past."
The full Knot Too Taboo podcast episode with Kristen Doute will be available on Wednesday.