updated 12/16/2009 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/17/2009 AT 11:00 AM ET
Mo’Nique is going through a very public forgiveness in her new movie Precious – a performance that was not easy but has earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
“I know Mary Jones. I know that monster,” Mo’Nique told Joy Behar on her show Tuesday night of her character, a mentally ill, abusive mother. “That character for me, in my life, was my older brother.”
The actress, 42, revealed in 2008 to Essence that she was sexually molested at 7 years old by her teenage brother. “I didn’t tell my parents until I was 15-years-old. [Unlike Precious] I had my family, but when you go through that as a child, you really don’t know which way to turn,” she said.
Although she opened up to her parents as a teen, Mo’Nique, who has not spoken to her brother in years, said she didn’t really confront her past until she was an adult. “I’m angry. I’m mad. I’m hurt. I’m crying, but doing this movie made me say, ‘You know what? I forgive.’ I forgive and I wish he would get the help that he needs, so no one else will go through it,” she said.
She adds: “Understanding Mary Jones in her sickness really made me understand my brother in his sickness. Not all molesters are bad people. We want to make them these monsters. It’s a sickness and if we address it as a sickness and try to get help, so many of us wouldn’t have a story to tell.”