Lisa Wilkinson has revealed she was sexually assaulted by her friend's father as a teenager, saying she was compelled to tell her story after meeting Parliament House alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins.
As she prepares for the release of her new memoir It Wasn't Meant to Be Like This, the Project star has spoken out about the tragedy that she has harboured for nearly five decades.
"I thought, if [women] don't come forward and don't show how incredibly common these experiences are, then the perpetrators win. And I couldn't be a party to that," she said in an interview with Stellar Magazine.
Lisa said she was at a close friend's house when her friend's father cornered her in a room and began to stroke her breasts before rubbing the crotch of her pants.
Lisa wrote that she was able to push the man off her and run to her father, who had just arrived to pick her up.
The television personality didn't tell anyone about the incident, saying that in those days women weren't believed when they spoke up about such atrocities.
"It was only when women linked arms and said: 'We are doing this together. We are not going to let women be isolated and excluded when they tell their stories'. Before there was no appetite for the ugliness but now we know how widespread the ugliness is," she wrote in the book.
Lisa revealed that she confided in Brittany about what happened to her after interviewing the former Liberal Party staffer.
"Women can only speak when they are ready. But there are more women speaking because they now know that they will be believed, they will be heard and they can seek justice," she said.
Lisa said that stories like what happened to Brittany are "so incredibly important" to share.
"Over the coming months it's really important that women can see justice happening in real time," she said.
Lisa's candor comes after she opened up about her unceremonious axing from The Today Show in October 2017.
"I was standing in aisle six at Woolies holding a can of tuna [when she got the call from management]. I felt stupid and humiliated and betrayed and pretty pathetic," she said.
It was reported that Karl was earning $2 million, while Lisa was taking home $1.1 million, and after Channel Nine couldn't negotiate equal pay, she left for The Project.
Her shock exit was a pinnacle point for conversations about the wage gap in Australia, one of the many feminist topics she has tackled in her career.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit their website.