‘Abbott Elementary’ Star Lisa Ann Walter Says the Sexual Assault of Her Sister Shaped Her Identity: ‘Nothing Was Done’ (Video)

You probably know Lisa Ann Walter for her comedy, big personality and tell it like it is attitude. But, before she made her way onto our screens and into our hearts, she was just an Italian American kid growing-up in Washington, D.C. During a recent interview on WrapWomen‘s “UnWrapped” podcast, the “Abbott Elementary” star opened-up about the defining moment in her childhood that made her the person she is today.

“My sister and both my neighbors were molested by the pedophile that lived two houses down from me,” the actress revealed to co-hosts Emily Vogel and Andi Ortiz. “I was the one who made everybody tell, but it felt so powerless because nobody did anything about it. The dads didn’t do anything.”

According to the “Abbott Elementary” star, by this point her parents were already divorced and her dad wasn’t living at home. Walter took it upon herself – “little baby feminist Lisa” – to make her sister and the neighbors report the sexual assault incident. The response of the adults was shocking.

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“They did nothing about it. Nothing happened. Parents were still letting their little kids go to this guy’s house,” said Walter. “So, I grew up feeling like I better be powerful, and I better tell the truth, and be I guess loud and be funny, because that felt stronger to me.”

Walter revealed that from that moment on, she started using humor and self-loathing as a shield, especially when it came to her weight and body image. Over the year’s this became part of Walter’s identity, until “Abbott Elementary” co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph told her, “Girl, you need to stop. Oh, you are beautiful. I will not hear it anymore. That is it.”

During this episode, Walter also…

  • Slams Florida book ban: Teachers aren’t trusted to pick books “but they want them to carry guns”

  • Reveals she doesn’t ‘have the nerve’ to ask #QuintaBrunson to put her “Parent Trap” BFF on the show

  • Shares her first impressions of “Abbott Elementary” co-stars

  • Opens up about developing an eating disorder as a teenager

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About “UnWrapped”

“UnWrapped” is a podcast produced by WrapWomen, dedicated to empowering the next generation of women in media and entertainment. Each episode “unwraps” topics from entertainment news and industry trends to career advice, Hollywood headlines and more.

Special guests include industry leaders, actors, producers and studio execs. The aim of the series is to connect those looking for knowledge and access to those with the knowledge and access, providing the WrapWomen community tools to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

New episodes of “UnWrapped” drop the last Friday of every month. You can listen on TheWrap.comWrapWomen.comSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts.

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