Meredith Vieira has revealed that she was once involved in a physically abusive relationship and stayed because she felt it was safer than leaving.
Vieira made the shocking disclosure during a discussion about the Ray Rice scandal on her new talk show, “The Meredith Vieira Show.” The episode airs Wednesday.
“I was scared of him. I was scared if I tried to leave something worse could happen to me,” said Vieira.
She said that domestic violence is “not just an issue with the NFL, it’s an issue with all of our lives and until we take it seriously more and more women are going to get abused.”
Vieira detailed how the abuse started slowly and escalated into life-threatening violence.
“It started out we’d have a fight and he’d just sort of grab my arm,” she said. “I didn’t think a lot about it and then it turned into pushing me into a wall and then it went beyond that to actually taking his hand and grabbing my face and saying, ‘I could ruin your career if I wanted to and no one would want you.’
One night, in the apartment that they shared, the boyfriend threw her into the shower, “naked with scalding water and then he threw me outside into the hallway ... and I hid in the stairwell for two hours until he came again crying, ‘I promise I won’t do this again,’” she revealed.
Like many women trapped in violent situations, she blamed herself for the abuse.
“Part of it was guilt because every time we would have a fight he would then start crying and say, ‘I promise I won’t do it again’ and I would feel like maybe I contributed somehow to this and they are saying this about Ray Rice’s wife, that it takes two to tango,” Vieira said.
She said the relationship finally ended when she took a job in another state.
“So, when people talk about domestic violence it is really, really a complicated issue,” she said. “It’s not so easy to just get away. You think it would be but it’s not.”