Tony-nominated star Andrew Rannells is opening up about being sexually assaulted by a priest when he was only a teen in his new memoir.
“The Book Of Mormon” performer detailed his time as an altar boy in an excerpt published by Vulture. At a time where he struggled with his own sexuality, he said a confession at Creighton Prep in Omaha forced intimacy with unwanted physical contact.
“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. It seemed very ‘Roman Wrestler’ at the time, but looking back it was also very ‘Abusive Pimp.’ I waited in line to talk with Father Dominic, who was popular for confessions. I told myself that he was going to be helpful, that this was my best option.”
Rannells chillingly details how Father Dominic abused him when he tried to come out.
“He grabbed my neck, as expected, and I started to talk. 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. 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. Then, with unexpected force, he kissed me. 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.”
Another incident happened a celebration for his high school graduations. He remembers standing at his front door when Father Dominic grabbed the back of his neck and “forced his tongue” in Rannells’ mouth.
He added, “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.”
Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells is available for purchase now.