By Amber Ray
May 18, 2014 at 06:55 PM EDT
David M. Benett/Getty Images

At a Cannes Film Festival event to launch her new charity, Pamela Anderson made a heartbreaking revelation: She is the victim of multiple sexual abuses, the earliest of which occurred at the age of 6.

The former Baywatch star held a backgammon competition to kick off the Pamela Anderson Foundation, her new charity dedicated to protecting the environment, animals rights, and human rights, on Friday. She prepared a speech explaining her love of animals, which included the shocking confession.

“I feel now might be the time to reveal a few of my most painful memories. At the risk of over-exposing myself, again, or being inappropriate, again, I thought I might share with you why I am doing this,” she said, according to The Daily Mail.

“I did not have an easy childhood. Despite loving parents, I was molested from age 6 by a female babysitter,” the 46-year-old said.

The model’s first “heterosexual experience” was not by choice. “I went to a friend’s boyfriend’s house and his older brother decided to teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage, which led into rape,” she said. “He was 25 years old and I was 12.”

Her first boyfriend, Anderson admitted, “decided it would be funny to gang-rape me with six friends.” After the horrors she experienced, Anderson said she had a hard time trusting humans and “wanted off this earth.”

She found salvation in her empathy toward animals. “It came to me naturally. The trees spoke to me. My loyalty was with the animal kingdom and I vowed to protect them and only them,” Anderson explained, according to The Guardian. “I prayed to the whales with my feet in the ocean, my only real friends until I had children.”

Anderson was accompanied to the event by her eldest son, Brandon Thomas Lee, and her husband, Rick Salomon. The party reportedly raised more than $150,000 for her friend Vivienne Westwood’s favorite charity, Cool Earth.

Representatives for Anderson did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.