Those who follow reality television star Heidi Montag Pratt know that the star of The Hills: New Beginnings has dealt with some rough family life experiences over the years. Specifically, there has been talk about how Heidi’s father allegedly sexually abused a young female at one point, and now Heidi’s stepsister Carissa Berlet is speaking out and says that she is the victim in this case.
Radar Online details that the Colorado court case connected to these allegations has the victim’s name redacted. However, Heidi’s stepsister says that she is the alleged victim who was assaulted dozens of times by Heidi’s father during her teenage years. The 38-year-old stepsister of The Hills star has decided that it is time for her to speak out publicly about this.
Carissa says that the abuse she endured came more than two decades ago via Heidi’s father William Montag. While Carissa’s mother and William are still married, Heidi’s stepsister says she will never speak with her stepfather again.
William was initially arrested in 2015 and pleaded not guilty to aggravated incest and sexual assault on a child. However, it seems he decided to plead guilty in 2016 to a charge of child abuse. William was apparently sentenced simply to four years of supervised probation with no jail time.
Carissa says she is opening up about this now because she felt that she couldn’t hide the secrets any longer. Carissa also noted that the #MeToo movement has helped her gain the confidence to speak out in hopes of helping other women.
‘I couldn’t hide his secret anymore,’ Carissa Berlet tells Radar. https://t.co/YGwTH4bk4W
— Radar Online (@radar_online) July 4, 2019
While Carissa says she was relieved that William admitted at least some wrongdoing in pleading guilty, she had also wanted to have her day in court. The allegations indicate that William sexually abused the now 38-year-old for a number of years beginning when she was just 13.
Heidi’s stepsister came forward to authorities in 2013 after working with a therapist. She alleged that her stepfather abused her more than 50 times over the years. Since those difficult years, Carissa acknowledges that she navigated substance abuse issues and once attempted suicide.
At the time of William’s arrest, Heavy detailed that he had allegedly abused his victim for five years. Although the abuse is said to have started in 1993, due to statute of limitations issues, he was only able to be charged with incidents that happened after July 1, 1996.
The now-72-year-old former youth ski instructor is not allowed to have any contact with Carissa. Carissa has a permanent restraining order against him, and she says he is fully out of her life.
“I have freedom to live in my truth.”
Carissa says that she is trying to rebuild a relationship with her mother, despite the fact she remains married to her alleged abuser. Ultimately, Heidi’s stepsister says that she’s doing well now and she felt this was the time to step forward and talk about what she endured.