BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has revealed he was sexually abused as a child several times by a camp counselor and has detailed physical abuse by a stepfather.
The Republican senator made the revelations in an interview to air Sunday night on the CBS program "60 Minutes." He's also detailed the childhood trauma in a new memoir, "Against All Odds," which comes out Monday.
Brown's father, C. Bruce Brown of Plum Island, separated from his mother, Judith, when the future senator was very young. Bruce Brown, a former Newburyport city councilor, and his wife, Peggy, have lived on Plum Island for many years.
Contacted yesterday afternoon, Peggy Brown said her husband would have no comment about the revelations in the senator's book.
"We're not commenting," she said. "This is Scott's book. We've been asked by Scott to refer all questions to him, and he'll be glad to answer them."
Brown says he never told his family about the abuse until now.
In the "60 Minutes" interview, Brown said the camp counselor threatened to kill him if he disclosed the sexual abuse.
"He said, 'If you tell anybody ... I'll kill you. I will make sure nobody believes you,'" he said in the interview.
Brown also said he looked into buying a home where his stepfather had physically abused him just so he could "burn it down."
Brown said that being physically abused at home and being the product of broken homes made him more vulnerable to sexual predators.
"When people find people like me at that young, vulnerable age, who are basically lost, the thing that they have over you is, they make you believe that no one will believe you," he said.
Brown added that even his mother did not know about the sexual abuse.
"That's what happens when you're a victim. You're embarrassed. You're hurt," he said.
Brown emerged on the national political scene last year with his improbable victory in the race for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seat.
As a state legislator in Massachusetts, Brown was a strong advocate for sexual abuse victims, working on several bills, including one which closed loopholes in sex offender laws.