By Robyn Collins
Vince Gill opened up about being sexually assaulted as a child while performing in Nashville this week.
“I was in 7th grade, and a young, dumb kid,” he told a crowd at the Ryman Auditorium. “I had a gym teacher that acted inappropriately towards me, and was trying to do things that I didn’t know what the hell was going on.”
The Opry member added that he was scared by what was happening and his fight or flight instinct kicked in, reports The Tennesseean.
I was just fortunate that I got up and I ran,” he said. “I just jumped up, and I ran. I don’t know why. And I don’t think I ever told anybody my whole life, but even what’s been going on has given me a little bit of courage to speak out, too.”
He originally spoke about this incident in an interview back in 2011.
It was at the Ryman performance that Gill said that the incident inspired his song “Forever Changed,” which he wrote years ago, but decided to play for the crowd in light of all the recent sexual assault revelations that have been surfacing in the news.
“You put your hands where they don’t belong/ And now her innocence is dead and gone,” he sang. “She feels dirty, she feels ashamed/ Because of you, she’s forever changed.”
“We’re living in a time right now when finally people are having the courage to kind of speak out about being abused,” Gill said. “And I think that is beyond helpful, and beyond beautiful to see people finally have a voice for being wronged.”
The country singer will resume touring with The Eagles in March.