By Sierra Marquina
Nigel Barker publicly revealed for the first time on Tuesday, April 12, that he was sexually assaulted as a child. The fashion photographer recalled on his SiriusXM show, Gentleman’s Code, that the traumatizing incident that occurred when he was only 8 years old.
According to Barker, a fortysomething man asked young Barker for directions before he pushed him into a building.
“I went up to the door and read the names on the buzzers.… I went to push it, and he pushed me from behind, jolted me through the doors and I fell to my feet inside the door,” Barker recalled. “The door closed and I’m now trapped between a stairwell inside and a shut door. I have a man who is much bigger than me, push me to the ground, grab me, pull my trousers and my pants down. I’m now exposed, and I’m screaming and thrashing.”
The now 43-year-old former America’s Top Model judge was fortunately able to get away.
“I kicked and I actually kicked him in the nuts and he sort of jumped back for a second. Enough for me to get up, squeeze out and, as he tried to grab for me in the back of my neck and the back of my hair, I ran out,” said Barker. “And I ran all the way home. Now here’s the thing: I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t tell my brothers. I told no one. I was humiliated. I was scared. I was worried. I thought I had done the wrong thing. I thought I had done the bad thing. It was something that stuck with me for a very long time.”
Barker decided to tell his story on Tuesday in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The photographer said he ended up telling his family about the encounter after his sister was also attacked three years later.
“Get out there. Talk about it. And don’t be afraid,” Barker said on his show. “Empower our children and our kids to do just that.”
This article was originally published on USMagazine.com on April 12, 2016