John Stamos Reveals In New Memoir That He’s A Sexual Abuse Survivor

Full House superstar John Stamos is opening up about a dark time in his past. The ’90s heartthrob is releasing

John Stamos
World Premiere of Disney's "Jungle Cruise". Disneyland, Anaheim, CA. EVENT July 24, 2021. 24 Jul 2021 Pictured: John Stamos. Photo credit: AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN / MEGA

Full House superstar John Stamos is opening up about a dark time in his past. The ’90s heartthrob is releasing a memoir next week, called If You Would Have Told Me. In the memoir, he has revealed that he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a babysitter when he was younger. It’s a brave revelation in a world where men talking about surviving sexual abuse is still a rarity. Here’s what Stamos had to say about it in his bold new memoir.

John Stamos Reveals He’s A Sexual Abuse Survivor

John Stamos

Disney+ “Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium” Yellow Brick Road Event. 20 Nov 2022 Pictured: John Stamos. Photo credit: GilbertFlores@Broadimage / MEGA

John Stamos’s memoir If You Would Have Told Me is a heartfelt and honest peek into the life of a man beloved by many. When he rose to fame in the ’90s on shows like ER and Full House, Stamos was a skilled actor with a beautiful face. But behind the dazzling smile and on-screen chemistry, he was living with a painful secret.

The 60-year-old spoke with PEOPLE ahead of his memoir’s release and explained some of what people can expect to read about. The abuse came at the hand of his babysitter, and Stamos said he didn’t necessarily realize at the time that he was being abused. The actor told the outlet, “It took me writing a book” to realize her alleged actions were inappropriate. He continued, “I mean, I knew, it was always in the back, and I do so much advocacy for the [survivors]. I felt like, I remembered it slightly. It has always been there, but I packed it away as people do, right?”

Stamos claimed he “didn’t tell” anyone at the time. “I think I told myself, like, ‘Ah, it’s girls, man.’ It was like you’re playing dead so they’ll stop. But it wasn’t totally aggressive. I don’t know, it was not good.”

The first time he thought about the abuse was while writing an acceptance speech for an award he was granted for his advocacy of abused children. That’s “when it all came out.” But Stamos couldn’t unpack in the moment, because he didn’t want to derail the good work he had done. He told PEOPLE that he recalled thinking, “‘No, tonight is not about me. It’s about the kids. I’m going to pack it away again until the right moment.’ Otherwise, I’m a phony f—. It’s like, ‘Come on.'”

It’s Not A Hero Story, It’s A ‘Human Story’

But John Stamos did want to be clear about something: “But I’ll tell you, if I found out someone was doing that to my son, that’s a totally different story.” Stamos shares 5-year-old Billy Stamos with his wife Caitlyn McHugh Stamos.

When reflecting on his creative process, Stamos reflected that he struggled with the tone he wanted to set. He explained, “I did set out to write a hero story, but then as I was doing it I was like, ‘No, I’m going to tell a human story.'”

A “hero story,” Stamos said, is “bullsh–.” He mused, “And unless I was a hundred percent forthcoming, what am I doing this for, right? But it was hard.” And the memoir promises to be boldly forthcoming, and heartwarmingly honest.

If You Would Have Told Me is hitting shelves on October 24, 2023.

Per PEOPLE: “If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to”