Maisie Williams recently opened up about her traumatic relationship with her father, whom she says "indoctrinated" her into a "child cult" against her mother.
The Game of Thrones actress made these revelations on the "Diary of a CEO" podcast, speaking with host Steven Bartlett. Though she didn't want to get into too much detail, as it "affects my siblings and my whole family," Williams recalled learning that her mother "escaped" her father when she was just four months old.
"I, as a young child before the age of 8, had quite a traumatic relationship with my dad," Williams said. Around that age she began to understand just how traumatic that relationship was.
"Ever since I can remember, I've really struggled sleeping and I think a lot the traumatic things that were happening I didn't realize that they were wrong," Williams said. "But I knew that I would look around at other kids and be like, 'Why don't they seem to understand this, like, pain or dread or fear? ... Where does the joy, like, when does that come for me?'"
Williams noted the turning point was when a teacher took her aside and asked about her welfare, if she'd been eating breakfast. She says the teacher was "asking all the right questions" like what was wrong, if she ate or was hungry. She asked why Williams hadn't eaten breakfast, and she recounted telling the teacher that "We just don't have any breakfast."
Though the truth was slowly beginning to come out about her father, Williams was resistant to accepting it, and thought her mother was "just trying to take me away from my dad." Williams said she had been "indoctrinated" by her father.
"I get it, I was in a child cult against my mother. So I was really fighting it at the beginning, but basically my whole world flipped on its head," Williams said. "And even though all these things I was feeling — 'Oh, my God, I'm so glad I don't have to see my dad anymore' — it still was against everything I knew to be true."
Williams, who no longer interacts with her father, has been coming to terms with the past and how to deal with her trauma, realizing in the process that she was not at fault for her mistreatment.
"It's not because of me that these bad things happened when I was a child," she said. "I felt there was something inherently wrong with me, or us, because we did lots of things wrong all the time, which is why you'd be mistreated."
Now, she finds herself more "interested" in what would drive a father to mistreat his own children, noting that her feeling about him is reduced to the fact that he would "make a fascinating documentary."
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.