Before finding fortune and fame, the 'Dancing with the Stars' professional was hung "from a tree upside down and spit on" by childhood bullies.
Derek Hough is definitely having the last laugh as one of Hollywood's hottest dancers by becoming a five-time champion on ABC's 'Dancing With the Stars.' However, before finding fame and fortune, being a dancer as a child made him an easy target for bullies.
Hough recently opened up about being bullied as a child
The professional choreographer opened up about his bullying childhood past while being honoured with the Inspiration Award at the GLSEN's Respect Awards.
"On one occasion, they would tie my ankles up with a very rough rope, hang me from a tree upside down and spit on me and call me names and even held a gun to my head," he revealed. "I didn't tell anybody-my parents, teachers, my friends, my sisters, I kept it to myself."
But one thing that helped him through these difficult times was dancing. "It became my safe place, the place where I could grow and flourish and where I could find those answers," Hough added.
However, as well as dancing, Hough is now a singer and actor, he most recently guest starred in ABC's 'Nashville.'
"I know now the worst thing you can do is suffer in silence," Hough said, adding, "Often times we allow ourselves to suffer a lot more than we need to by keeping it to ourselves and carrying the burden alone."
He concluded: "Let me tell you right now, you are not alone, seeking help requires incredible strength and incredible courage. The most powerful weapon you have against bullying is your voice."