Fran Drescher opens up about her violent rape and how cancer diagnosis changed her

Fran Drescher is looking back on one of the most harrowing experiences of her life -- the 1985 home invasion where she was bound and raped at gunpoint.

The actress, who is best known for her role on "The Nanny," gave a very forthcoming interview to Australian talk show Studio 10 alongside her high school sweetheart (and now ex-husband) Peter Marc Jacobson. During the interview she spoke opening about the terrifying experience for both her and her husband.

"The whole rape experience was so surreal, because people who talk about having guns in the house and things like that — it would not have helped. It could have been used against us. There's no time, unless you're going to walk around with a gun pointed 24 hours a day," said Jacobson, explaining that the couple was at home having dinner with friends when the assailants broke down the locked door.

"You try to live, you try to get through it alive," he added. "The police said: 'Whatever you did, you did right, because you're alive.'"

Drescher, who late wrote about the experience in her 1996 autobiography "Enter Whining," said that many women often asked her to sign the chapter of her book where she talked about her rape.

"I thought if people could see where I went from that low point to where I am now, maybe it'll help and inspire other women, and men for that matter, who have been sexually assaulted to move on — to feel your pain, and then try and pick up the pieces and put yourself back together," Drescher said.

"You'll never be the same, but whatever that is, then forge forward with that and turn your pain into purpose, which is what I always do," she concluded.

11 PHOTOS
Fran Drescher through the years
See Gallery
Fran Drescher through the years
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Actress Fran Drescher visits SiriusXM Studios on June 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 7: Fran Drescher attends Gilt x Livelihood Launch Event at 6 St. John's Lane on February 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Comedian Fran Drescher attends the Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Busboys and Poets)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Fran Drescher performing in The American Pops Orchestra '75 Years of Streisand' at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium on January 13, 2017 in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Fran Drescher attends the After Party Reception for The American Pops Orchestra '75 Years of Streisand' at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium on January 13, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 20: Actress Fran Drescher arrives at the opening of 'Cabaret' at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on July 20, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 07: Fran Drescher arrives to The Music Center's Summer Soiree Honoring Rita Moreno at The Music Center Plaza on July 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Fran Drescher arrives at Fran Drescher's 2016 Cabaret Cruise at Pier 40 on June 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Fran Drescher and George Takei pose at the '2nd Annual Fran Drescher Cancer Schmancer Sunset Cabaret Cruise' on The SS Hornblower Infinity Crusie Ship on June 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Fran Drescher visits AOL Build to discuss her life and career as well as the important work of her organization Cancer Schmancer and their upcoming 2nd Annual Cabaret Cruise in NYC on June 20th at AOL Studios In New York on June 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The experience also helped her husband figure out his true self after he sought professional help. He ended up discovering that he was gay.

Drescher and Jacobson separated in 1996.

The experience also had a profound effect on Drescher, as well. A little over 10 years after the rape, Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

"That, I think, is a poetic correlation, because I really didn't deal with my pain for many, many, many years with the rape," she told Studio 10. "So when you don't do that ... I mean, I ended up with a gynecological cancer. So it kind of ends up being very poetic in where the body decides to break down and create disease."

"It's been a colossal learning experience," she added. "I'm not glad I had cancer and I don't wish it on anyone, but I am better for it. Sometimes the best gifts come in the ugliest packages."

Her diagnosis and him finding his true orientation also helped them rekindle their friendship following their marriage.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.