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Opinion

My stepfather sexually abused me when I was a child. My mother, Alice Munro, chose to stay with him

In the shadow of my mother, a literary icon, my family and I have hidden a secret for decades. It鈥檚 time to tell my story.

Updated
8 min read
My stepfather sexually abused me when I was a child. My mother, Alice Munro, chose to stay with him
For Subscribers Star Exclusive
Opinion

My stepfather sexually abused me when I was a child. My mother, Alice Munro, chose to stay with him

In the shadow of my mother, a literary icon, my family and I have hidden a secret for decades. It鈥檚 time to tell my story.


Updated
8 min read

In 1976, I went to visit my mother, Alice Munro, for the summer at her home in Clinton, Ont. One night, while she was away, her husband, my stepfather, Gerald Fremlin, climbed into the bed where I was sleeping and sexually assaulted me. I was nine years old. I was a happy child 鈥 active and curious聽鈥 who had only just realized I couldn鈥檛 grow up to be a sheep-herding dog, a great disappointment, as I loved both dogs and sheep.聽

The next morning, I couldn鈥檛 get out of bed. I鈥檇 woken up with my first migraine, which developed over the years into a chronic, debilitating condition that continues to this day. I longed to go home, back to Victoria to be with my father, Jim Munro, my stepmother, Carole, and my stepbrother, Andrew.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
The Munro women Resized_20240621_144642.jpg

The sisters and Alice, from left: Jenny, Sheila, Alice and Andrea.聽聽

Andrea letter part 1

An excerpt from Andrea’s letter to her mother.

munro 1979.JPG (copy)

Alice Munro in an April 1979 photo.聽

sr_AndreaMunro_53.JPG

Andrea says she never reconciled with her mother.

The four siblings at The Gatehouse.jpg

The four siblings: from left to right, Andrea, Sheila, Jenny and Andrew.聽聽

AS
Andrea Robin Skinner

Andrea Robin Skinner is the daughter of Canadian writer AliceMunro. She is a contributor for the Star.

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