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Michael Learned

‘The Waltons’ family mom breaks silence: ‘I was abused’

Michael Learned, 77, known for her role as “Ma Walton” in the TV show The Waltons, revealed  that she was a victim of domestic violence in one of her marriages. Learned isn’t revealing which man abused her, saying that she isn’t angry with the man anymore. She believes that he has reformed, and has become an “outstanding member of the community.”

Learned said that at some point in time during the marriage, the unnamed man became physically violent with her, according to a report by FOX News.

“He put a choke hold on me. I called the cops once, but I decided not to press charges. I should have.”

The 77-year-old actress said that she didn’t know what to do in her situation. She finally gathered up the strength to leave the abusive husband, but could only turn to her friends at the time. She said that back then, there were no programs to help those with a tendency for domestic violence.

Learned said that she finally left when she realized she could no longer live in an abusive situation. She said there came a time when she could no longer “turn the other cheek.” She believed there was something out there better for her, and became strong enough to walk away. Learned began to take responsibility for the choices she had made; she said  her life is so much better now because of the changes she made.

“The life I have today is beyond my wildest dreams!”

Learned has been married four times. She was first married to actor Peter Donat from 1956 to 1972, who played Bill Mulder, the father of Fox Mulder, in the TV show The X-Files.

She was then married to Glenn Chadwick, a stagehand, from 1975-1977.

After the Chadwick marriage, she married William Parker in 1979. Parker wrote episodes for The Waltons. The couple divorced in 1988.

She then married John Dohert, a lawyer, who she’s married to today. The couple live together in California.

Learned won three Emmy Awards for her role in The Waltons. She’s currently starring in a stage version of Driving Miss Daisy in Fayetteville, Philadelphia.

[Feature Photo: AP/TVA/PictureGroup/Invision for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences]