'TLC' star speaks out on how her father began molesting her as a child & why she left her family
The 26-year-old singer, Jessica Willis Fisher, opened up about the abuse and sexual molestation she endured while still part of The Willis Clan.
The Willis Clan first rose to fame during season 9 of America's Got Talent. The family was later offered their own reality show, which aired on TLC from 2015 until 2016.
The show was canceled in 2016, after the head of the family, Toby Willis, was arrested and charged with four counts of child rape. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
As reported by Daily Mail, Jessica was able to escape her abusive father in April 2016, even though he confiscated her phone and prevented her from having contact with her friends.
Toby had beaten Jessica with a belt earlier that day because she was arguing with one of her younger brothers. Jessica realized that the abuse wouldn't stop.
She had an 'emergency phone,' given to her by her boyfriend, Sean, which she hid under the mattress. Jessica used that to notify her best friend that she was leaving that night.
Jessica packed only a few items of clothing and personal belongings and said that she had never felt so sick. She described it as 'the darkest period' of her life.
While everyone was slandering Nate Parker, this was happening TLC's 'Willis Family' Star --Charged With Raping Child https://t.co/i8QP9lL3mo— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) September 13, 2016
On April 13, 2018, Jessica published a blog post about the abuse she endured and how she escaped from her abusive father. It was her testimony that led to her Toby Willis' arrest in August 2016.
'For a long time now I had felt like I was going through life with a massive bomb strapped to my chest that I knew would one day detonate.'
Jessica Willis Fisher, Official website, April 13, 2018.
She said the abuse started when she was three years old, but she only 'became aware that is was inappropriate' when she turned nine. Her mother, Brenda, became suspicious of Toby's actions.
Brenda confronted Toby, but he denied the accusations, and 'became more secretive and dangerous' from then on. Jessica later realized that her father also molested her younger sisters.
Jessica said in her blog post that writing about her past is a way for her to 'own her story,' and to love and accept herself.
Sean supported her throughout the trail. They became engaged in December 2016, and have since exchanged their wedding vows.