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Filmmaker Needed 35 Years to Discover Secret Abuse

Jennifer Fox explores her own childhood relationship
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2018 2:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Filmmaker Jennifer Fox didn't know she had such a personal sexual-abuse story to tell. Now with The Tale appearing on HBO, Fox's long-repressed childhood trauma has hit the small screen with a stellar cast including Laura Dern and Ellen Burstyn, Salon reports. Praised at the Sundance Film Festival, The Tale depicts a character named Jennifer Fox who learns she had been sexually abused by her coach (played by Jason Ritter) and his female accomplice—only because Fox's mom (Burstyn) finds a story called "The Tale" that Fox wrote when she was 13. Which Fox says is all too true:

  • The call: Fox was making the TV documentary series Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman about women who'd been sexually abused. "What I was hearing sounded so much like my own little private story that I called a relationship, there was this seismic crack in my body," she tells Salon. "Then soon after, my mom did find 'The Tale,' and called me, hysterical about it. ... When I read 'The Tale,' I was just shocked again because there was sexual abuse all over it, but as a child I didn't see that."

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