"Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me," writes Rannells in his book.
Andrew Rannells says he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a teenager.
In his new memoir, "Too Much Is Not Enough," the "Girls" star detailed disturbing experiences he had during his time at a Jesuit high school in Omaha, Nebraska, which was run by priests. Rannells claimed a priest, who he calls Father Dominic, had taken a special interest in him because he "did well" in his classes. However, the actor says the priest had other intentions.
The "Book of Mormon" actor, who is openly gay, recalled that at the time he was struggling with his sexuality and decided to confide in Father Dominic during confession.
"I was at a total loss for adult connection and assistance," Rannells wrote, according to Vulture. "My grades were plummeting, I constantly had a stomachache, and I thought my life was crumbling around me. Having no one to talk to about my terrible relationship and feeling hopeless, I decided I would confess to Father Dominic at the next mass. He seemed so strong, but so kind, and I was hopeful that he could save me from myself."
Rannells said at Creighton Prep, mass was a "hippie affair" including a nontraditional confession setting. The actor explained, "Priests would set up two chairs close to each other in various darkened corners of the quad, turn on music at a low volume to muddle the sound of confessions, and then you would basically just get right up in a priest's face and whisper your sins. Sometimes he would close his eyes and grab the back of your neck firmly while you confessed."
When Rannells went to talk to Father Dominic, nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first. "I sat across from him in a dark corner, our knees touching. He grabbed my neck, as expected, and I started to talk," Rannells wrote. "I started to try to explain what was happening with me, but I couldn't make the words come out right. Instead, I started to cry. I was so embarrassed. Father Dominic squeezed my neck harder, and he grabbed both my hands with his free hand."
"His hands were like baseball mitts," he continued. "We just sat there while I cried. He finally said, 'It's okay. You've done nothing wrong' It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it still felt nice. He stood up and pulled me up with him. He hugged me tightly. I felt safe and heard and understood."
It was at that point things turned inappropriate. "Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me," Rannells wrote. "On the lips. He muscled his tongue into my mouth and held the back of my head still. Then he released me and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. He smiled. I walked away, stunned."
The Tony-nominee said he tried to "avoid" Father Dominic for the rest of the year following the alleged assault. However, when Rannells' mom invited the priest to his graduation party, Rannells didn't try to dissuade her. At the party, Rannells said Father Dominic sexually abused him for the second time.
"At some point, Father Dominic needed to leave, and he asked if I could show him out," he wrote. "I knew what was coming, but at this point, I didn't care. I had performed and received numerous sex acts with a man I didn't care about, and I just walked around feeling damaged."
He added, "We stood at my parents' front door and said our good-byes for the final time, and then he grabbed me by the back of the neck and forced his tongue in my mouth. I just stood there and let him. I didn't kiss back, but I also didn't move. He smiled at me and walked to his car. I went into our kitchen and slammed a glass of wine before going back out to the party."
Following the second disturbing encounter with Father Dominic, Rannels wrote he then made the decision to cut ties with the Catholic Church. "It was time to leave," he said. "It was time to leave high school, it was time to leave the Catholic Church, it was time to leave Omaha, and it was time to leave this idea that I had to go along with whatever older man was calling the shots, behind. I was eighteen years old, and I couldn't be anybody’s altar boy anymore."
"Too Much Is Not Enough" is out now.
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