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Somy Ali, actress and former girlfriend of actor Salman Khan, says she was sexually abused and raped as a minor.

In an Instagram note to victims, Ali on Monday wrote: “As a survivor of sexual abuse at the age of five and rape at 14, I would like to salute all those that have spoken up and plan on doing so. I know it is very difficult to do it because I have been there and it took me many years to be able to talk about it.”

The star from Pakistan first opened up about facing sexual harassment in 2015 in her autobiography. At that time, she clarified rumours of her abusive relationship with Khan, saying he poured a drink all over a table since he was angry at her for trying alcohol for the first time.

Ali entered the film industry in the early 1990s, but left a few years later for Florida, where she founded her NGO, No More Tears.

According to Ali, what hurts the most is when people close to you do not support you in such a situation.

“This is your truth. Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth. Do not let this opportunity pass you. This is a moment that has been long overdue for all of us. This is your chance to be heard and finally obtain justice. I believe you,” she said.

“It’s even harder when you tell those that are close to you and they are supposed to protect you, yet they do nothing. I have been there too and it hurts like hell. But I want these survivors to know it is truly liberating and completely worth it,” she added.