Fran Drescher, our favorite “nanny” and owner of the best nasally New York City accent ever, recently opened up about her experience being raped at gunpoint over 30 years ago. Drescher stated that she believes her cancer battle is linked to the emotionally devastating events.
59-year-old Drescher recently had an interview with Australian talk show Studio 10 alongside her now ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, who she has known since high school. In 1985, their home was invaded and Drescher was tied up and raped at gunpoint. Jacobsen stated:
“The whole rape experience was so surreal, because people who talk about having guns in the house and things like that — it would not have helped. It could have been used against us. There’s no time, unless you’re going to walk around with a gun pointed 24 hours a day.”
“There were women that asked me to sign that particular chapter. I thought if people could see where I went from that low point to where I am now, maybe it’ll help and inspire other women, and men for that matter, who have been sexually assaulted to move on — to feel your pain, and then try and pick up the pieces and put yourself back together.
You’ll never be the same, but whatever that is, then forge forward with that and turn your pain into purpose, which is what I always do.”
About 10 years after the rape, Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer, which she believes is linked to the rape–not in a scientific way, but a metaphysical one. She connects it to the trauma her body endured physically and emotionally:
“That, I think, is a poetic correlation, because I really didn’t deal with my pain for many, many, many years with the rape. So when you don’t do that … I mean, I ended up with a gynecological cancer. So it kind of ends up being very poetic in where the body decides to break down and create disease.”
And yet, Drescher has ironically called her struggle with cancer a “silver lining,” explaining how it helped rekindle the friendship between her and Jacobson post-divorce:
“That was one of the silver linings. There’s always silver linings to even the darkest clouds. And us becoming friends again and moving into a new relationship [was one of them].
But I catch myself and I look around and I try and look at even the most mundane things that I see every day with the most wide-eyed wonder of a child to recalibrate, and be grateful.”
This experience, of course, is what led her to create an organization called Cancer Schmancer, whose mission is “to shift the nation’s focus from just searching for a cure to prevention and early detection of cancer in order to save lives.”
Watch a clip from the interview below: