Sally Field has opened up about how she was sexually abused for years as a child by her stepfather and had a secret abortion at 17.

In an interview with the New York Times, ahead of the release of her memoir In Pieces, Field said she stayed quiet about the abuse for so long because "I didn't know I had a voice".

Sally touches on how she disclosed to her mother about the abuse she endured at the hands of her stepfather up until she was 14-years-old.

Sally, who is now 71, finally opened up years later when her mother Margaret Field was dying of cancer.

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Her mother, dealing the the enormity of Sally's confession of a decades old secret, and despite her own grave prognosis, assured her daughter she would not be alone in her pain any longer.

Of her stepfather, nicknamed Jocko, Sally writes in her memoir, "It would have been so much easier if I'd only felt one thing, if Jocko had been nothing but cruel and frightening. But he wasn't. He could be magical, the Pied Piper with our family as his entranced followers."

He would call Sally to his bedroom alone. "I knew," Sally writes in the excerpts revealed by the Times.

Sally explained to her mother that it was not a one time incident, but a series of offenses throughout her adolescents that only ceased when she turned 14-years-old.

"I felt both a child, helpless, and not a child. Powerful. This was power. And I owned it. But I wanted to be a child — and yet."

She revealed all to her mother around the time she found out she got the part in Steven Spielberg's 2012 movie Lincoln.

Her mother divorced from her father, Richard in 1951 and re-married in 1952 to stuntman and actor Jock Mahoney, best known for his role in Tarzan Goes to India.

Her mother divorced Mahoney in 1968, and he died in 1989.

When she hit her late teens she experienced a sexual awakening which she describes as "breaking out of my own brain".

She fell pregnant and had a secret abortion in Tijuana at 17-years-old.

She would eventually find love, twice in marriage.

She married to Steven Craig from 1968 to 1975. During their marriage, the couple had two sons Peter, a novelist, born 1969, and Eli an actor and director born 1972.

Craig and Sally divorced in 1975, and Sally began her on and off relationship with Burt Reynolds.

She married her second husband Alan Greisman in 1984. Together they had one son, Sam, in 1987. Field and Greisman divorced in 1993.

Sally soon landed her first big gig on TV as Gidget and then The Flying Nun, and her rise to stardom catapulted her into a different hemisphere.

"I was no longer a member of the club anymore," Sally writes. "The Human Club. I was a celebrity," she added.

She used acting as her therapy. She sought complex roles such as the TV mini-series Sybil (1976) in which she played a woman with multiple-personality disorder.

She also won an Oscar for her the eponymous role in Norma Rae (1979) in which she played a labor activist at a cotton mill which allowed her to express pent-up aggression.

Sally won three Emmys, one of which was for her role in Sybil, and two Oscars, both in the Best Actress category, on for In Places of the Heart (1985) and the other for Norma Rae (1980).

She also details a time as a young woman, taking drugs and in one instance waking up to singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb on top of her after they had smoke a joint filled with hash.

She says she woke up and found Webb "on top of me, grinding away to another melody." She made sure to add she did not believe he was being malicious, rather that he was "stoned out of his mind."

Webb was asked to respond to Sally's memoir.

In an email to the Times, Webb said, "I am being asked to respond to a passage in a book that the publishers refuse to let me read, even at my lawyer's request, so all I can do is recount my memories of dating Sally in the swingin' 1960s. Sally and I were young, successful stars in Hollywood. We dated and did what 22-year-olds did in the late 60s — we hung out, we smoked pot, we had sex."

He also added that he did not include his dalliances with her in his own memoir, as he did not want to tarnish her Gidget image.

Sally also delves into her long, and storied history with the late Burt Reynolds, who passed on September 6.

She says in retrospect, on her intense five year romance with Burt, she was trying to recreate the relationship she had with her abuser.

"I was somehow exorcising something that needed to be exorcised," she told the Times. "I was trying to make it work this time."

Sally delves into her long, and storied history with the late Reynolds, who passed on September 6, dedicating several pages to their relationship in her memoir.

She describes her relationship with Reynolds, who passed away September 6, as "confusing and complicated" and, in a conversation with the New York Times after his death, she said she was "flooded with feelings and nostalgia" about him.

"This would hurt him," she said of her upcoming tome that includes her painful life as an adolescent and the tumultuous years that followed her celebrity status.

She says in light of his passing, she finds solace in that he will not read her book.

"I felt glad that he wasn't going to read it, he wasn't going to be asked about it, and he wasn't going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further."

Sally and Burt were lovers and co-stars whose flings began during the filming of Smokey and the Bandit and continued in Hooper.

The The Smokey and the Bandit co-stars dated for five years after they met on the set of the 1977 film. The former couple appeared in four films together before calling it quits around 1982.

Though the pair have oft been described as akin to Hollywood relationship legend, Sally told the Times their time together was "confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me."

While in her memoir she describes the prolific actor as being in person just as swaggering and charismatic as his roles, she also says he controlling of her.

With a whirlwind romance sparked out of a connection that was as immediate and intense, it also had dark, frightening undertones to their courtship.

Sally claims Reynolds used a cocktail of drugs while filming Smokey and the Bandit writing that he used Percodan, Valium and barbiturates, and would even occasionally receive mysterious injections to his chest.

She urged him to get his heart check around that time. He ultimately acquiesced and was examined at the Miami Heart Institute, but was given the all clear.

He also brushed off her suggestions at seeking therapy for her apparent stress, waiving it off as "self-delusional poppycock."

Sally said she was at least relieved to hear that Reynolds would not read her memoir, knowing that he would be hurt by what she reveals.

"This would hurt him," she said.

"I felt glad that he wasn't going to read it, he wasn't going to be asked about it, and he wasn't going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have. I did not want to hurt him any further."