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'Girls' Star Andrew Rannells Opens Up About Sexual Abuse from Catholic Priest

Monday Mar 18, 2019

In his new memoir, "Girls" actor and Broadway star Andrew Rannells opens up about the sexual assault he endured from a Catholic priest when he was in high school.

The expert from his new book "Too Much is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood," out Tuesday, comes from Vulture. In the passage, titled "It's Never the Priest You Want to Kiss," Rannells, 40, discusses the nuns and priests he met throughout his Catholic school education. That's when he reveals that a priest at his high school — Creighton Prep in Omaha, Neb. — sexually assaulted him.

Rannells writes he was struggling with his sexuality and was in a relationship with an older man at the time. He then reached out to a priest for help during a confession. The actor refers to the priest as Father Dominic and says he's in his 60s. He writes that confessions were not anonymous and that he had to confess his sins face-to-face with the priest.

He writes:

"Priests would set up two chairs close to each other in various darkened corners of the quad, turn on music at a low volume to muddle the sound of confessions, and then you would basically just get right up in a priest's face and whisper your sins. Sometimes he would close his eyes and grab the back of your neck firmly while you confessed. It seemed very 'Roman Wrestler' at the time, but looking back it was also very 'Abusive Pimp.' I waited in line to talk with Father Dominic, who was popular for confessions. I told myself that he was going to be helpful, that this was my best option."


"I sat across from him in a dark corner, our knees touching. He grabbed my neck, as expected, and I started to talk. I started to try to explain what was happening with me, but I couldn't make the words come out right. Instead, I started to cry. I was so embarrassed. Father Dominic squeezed my neck harder, and he grabbed both my hands with his free hand. His hands were like baseball mitts. We just sat there while I cried. He finally said, 'It's okay. You've done nothing wrong.' It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it still felt nice. He stood up and pulled me up with him. He hugged me tightly. I felt safe and heard and understood. Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me. On the lips. He muscled his tongue into my mouth and held the back of my head still. Then he released me and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. He smiled."

Rannells also writes that he avoided Father Dominic for months but the priest assaulted him again at his graduation celebration.

"We stood at my parents' front door and said our good-byes for the final time, and then he grabbed me by the back of the neck and forced his tongue in my mouth," the "Black Monday" actor wrote. "I just stood there and let him. I didn't kiss back, but I also didn't move. He smiled at me and walked to his car. I went into our kitchen and slammed a glass of wine before going back out to the party."

Click here to order his memoir.


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