‘Y&R’s’ Cady McClain Talks Sexual Abuse and Alcoholism At the Hands of Her Father in New Book, ‘Murdering My Youth: A Memoir’

CBS Television Distribution
Howard Wise/JPI Studios
Howard Wise/JPI Studios

In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” which aired this weekend in its entirety and was conducted by her former “” co-star (ex-Ryan Lavery), actress  (Kelly Andrews, “”; ex-Dixie Martin, “AMC”) talks about her new book, “Murdering My Youth: A Memoir,” where she reveals that her parents used her for financial gain, how her years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father nearly led her down an emotional breaking point after filming love scenes at “AMC,” and how her marriage to “’s” (Kevin Collins) has helped her grow.

Courtesy of Cady McClain
Courtesy of Cady McClain

“It was a story that lived inside of me and really tortured me for many years,” said McClain, when asked about the stories that led to her writing her new book. “There were people that came into my life as a child, my parents, and a few people from show business who took away my innocence very young.”

Talking about love scenes, and how much a toll it had on her emotionally afterward, McClain says, “Doing love scenes was absolute torture for me because I was sexually abused as a little girl. I had to do a rape scene once… I mean I almost lost my mind. I remember doing some scenes with Billy Clyde (Matthew Cowles), where he was going to rape me and he had something around my neck. I did the scenes. I did my job and then I went down to my dressing room and just went into the fetal position for awhile because it was just rattling such old bones in me. I didn’t have ownership of my sexuallity really. It had been marked in a way by my father when he was drunk, and sexually abused me. It’s taken a long of time and a lot of work to reclaim all those parts of myself.”

While she didn’t initially believe what her father was doing to her was wrong at the time, the actress eventually came to realize it was far from normal for a father to do such a horrid thing to his daughter, or any child at that. “I was never angry at my dad when I was a kid. I loved him. He was my savior. To me when I was a little girl, he just made a mistake and he thought he was loving me. He didn’t know that it was – he didn’t mean to hurt me. I actually believed that he didn’t mean to hurt me. As I got older, of course, I found older men attractive [Laughs]. I was like, ‘hmm…dad?’ and my sexually had gotten really confused. My dad had turned me on, sexually. So when I looked at older men, they were my sexual type.”

As a child star, McClain’s career got a big boost from her appearances in national commercials, including a 1981 commercial for Band-Aid. Unfortunately, the residuals from such appearances were squandered away by her parents. While it didn’t dawn on McClain until a couple of years ago, she notes that her parents spent everything. “How can people do that to a child?” she wondered. “My dad had a lot of nice italian suits. They bought a Mercedes and a Cadillac, they bought and sold a bunch of houses, and they lost a lot of money. My dad traveled a lot. [They] just lived it up.”

As for how she’s been able to stay grounded after all these years, McClain reveals that after years of therapy, it’s her relationship with husband Jon Lindstom that has helped her become the person she is today. “I was honestly able to overcome the sexual abuse by my father because of the love of my husband. The incredible love that Jon has given me, the total acceptance of who I am, that I am not the sum of my experiences, but who I am in spite of that.”

To find out more about McClain’s journey, you can purchase your own copy of “” on or wherever books are sold.