“Dirty Dancing” actress Jennifer Grey grew up in a wealthy, well-connected Hollywood family, surrounded by celebrities like Madonna, Andy Warhol and Johnny Depp.
Wild parties, drugs and sex were part of her life from a young age. And when she became pregnant as a teenager in the 1980s, she aborted her unborn baby, according to News 84 Media.
In her new memoir “Out of the Corner,” Gray seemed to realize that the way she, her celebrity family and friends lived during her young life was terrible. But she still defended her abortion, saying she never would have succeeded as an actress as a teenage mother.
“It’s such a grave decision. And it stays with you,” she told the Los Angeles Times. Without the abortion, “I wouldn’t have my life. I wouldn’t have had the career I had, I wouldn’t have had anything. And it wasn’t for lack of taking it seriously.”
Gray, who gave birth to her only living child, a daughter, at age 41, said she always wanted children, but she did not want to be a teenage mother. She said she was using birth control but she got pregnant anyway.
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“I’d always wanted a child. I just didn’t want a child as a teenager. I didn’t want a child where I was in my life,” she said.
Her memoir sheds light on the depravity of the Hollywood culture and how it harms women and children. She grew up surrounded by some of the richest, most well-connected and successful people in the world – people who are more than capable of helping a young pregnant mother and her baby and able to influence a culture to welcome, encourage and support young mothers in their pursuit of a career. Instead, celebrities treated women and girls like Gray as sexual objects and, when unborn babies came into existence, pressured them to have abortions.
Gray admitted that she would not want her own daughter to tread through the “dark waters” that she did as a teenager.
“When I try to imagine my own daughter at 16, playing house, essentially living with a grown-ass man, doing tons of blow, popping Quaaludes, and going to Studio  — not to mention being lied to, cheated on, then gifted with various and sundry STDs and unwanted pregnancies, it makes me feel physically ill,” she said.
The actress continued: “No teenager should be swimming in waters that dark, at the mercy of grown men who knew better, but when you’re a 16-year-old girl, nobody’s going to tell you to put your clothes on and go home to your parents. As a teenager, I was keenly aware my newfound power but had no sense of my value.”
Even her own father, Academy Award-winning actor Joel Grey, did not protect her.
According to News 84, Gray wrote in her memoir about being sexually harassed for the first time when she was 14. She said a concierge pressed his body up against her and licked her neck; but when she told her father about the harassment, he dismissed it.
“’What did you expect?’” her father told her, Gray remembered. “It was my loss of innocence. I felt that what happened was my fault. Otherwise, why would the people I trust the most in the world let me down so deeply?”
Gray said she doesn’t “blame anyone” because parents are imperfect, too.
But her family and Hollywood friends failed her and her child, treating them both as objects rather than valuable human beings. Her unborn child was not the hindrance to her life or career; it was the family and friends who should have supported them both and didn’t.