Todd Bridges and Janet Jackson
Photo: Getty Images
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Todd says he thought he was gay after being abused because his first—and only—sexual experience up until that point had been with a man. "I didn't know because I was thinking, 'Well, I liked the way it felt, and maybe that's what I'm into,'" he says.

Then, when he was 12 1/2 years old, Todd says he and his co-star Dana Plato began experimenting sexually. "That proved to me that I liked girls," he says.

But, from adolescence on, Todd says his sexual abuse affected the way he treated the women in his life. For years, he used, abused and discarded girlfriends...except one.

"There's only one girl in my life that I had feelings for that I did not want to hurt. Only one woman, and that was Janet [Jackson]," he says. "I backed away from her because she was such a nice person. She was so good to me that I just couldn't see myself hurting her like that."

Todd says he chose Janet to play his girlfriend on Diff'rent Strokes, and they dated for a short time in the '80s.

Around this time, when Todd was 15 or 16, he says he began experimenting with drugs. "I wouldn't do it on the set. I would never do that. I would always wait until the weekends and do it just to try to forget what I was going through," he says. "When I was on the set, I felt such peace and safety."
FROM: Former Miss USA Tara Conner Comes Clean, Plus Child Star Todd Bridges
Published on April 28, 2010

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