Jeannie Mai Reveals A Family Member Molested Her When She Was Nine, Caused Her To Be Estranged From Her Mom For 8 Years
Jeannie Mai never hesitates to get real about her life experiences. But she’s opened up in an even more vulnerable way as she explained a terrible thing she experienced at just nine-years-old. The Real co-host revealed it in her new YouTube special, Hey Hunnay. The premiere episode is called “Why I Didn’t Speak To My Mom For Eight Years.”
Her mother, Olivia TuTram Mai, also known as Mama Mai on The Real daytime talk show, made an appearance during the emotional clip.
Jeannie Mai said,
“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. We’re talking for the first time about how that affected us.”
Jeannie Mai detailed her encounter with a male family member and said it happened after her mom got a second job following the arrival of her younger brother.
“We needed to find a babysitter, so we called upon a family member. He came over every single day and stayed with me after school.”
She said the family member, whose identity she conceals, was 16 or 17, and someone she admired at the time. Unfortunately, things changed between them after he sexually abused her.
“I just remember one day this person sitting very close to me, we were playing video games, and he started to touch my thigh.”
While she said she wanted to justify it because he was family, she also added that she was shocked.
“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.”
He went from inappropriately touching to exposing himself and taking things even further.
“I remember him pulling me into that shower and it was the first time I have a seen a grown man and what he looked like. I remember him telling me to touch him in certain ways. This happened every day for a few weeks, and then it turned into months and I remember one year going by. I didn’t say anything because I was afraid.”
She said she kept quiet because he told her her parents would be upset if they found out. She said she begged for a new babysitter when she was 13, but didn’t tell her why. Her mom said,
“I didn’t realize what you were trying to say.”
When she finally did tell her mom, Olivia didn’t believe her.
“When I don’t believe it, I just let it go. I don’t see anything bad about him.”
Jeannie Mai said she felt “alone” and recounted the abuse a few years later. That time her mom believed her and decided to confront him, which Jeannie Mai just found out. She said,
“I wish you told me that you went to his house. You never told me. That before and that part is all I needed to know that you supported me and you defended me. That right there is all I needed to know. 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.”
The two were able to repair their relationship and now have an amazing connection that viewers of The Real see regularly. They said they hoped that speaking out about their experience can help others.