McLeod's Daughters star Aaron Jeffery has revealed he is the survivor of child sexual abuse.
In an interview with Who magazine Jeffrey said he was taken advantage of by a paedophile ring "for a couple of years" while he was growing up in Auckland. Jeffery moved to Australia at the age of 17 to study acting at NIDA.
"In my mid-twenties I had a nervous breakdown," the 48-year-old said. "That hard part of my childhood came back to me - when I was in a paedophile ring for a couple of years -and I had to deal with that."
Jeffery, who unsuccessfully auditioned for the 2000 Chopper Read film, went on to quit acting for a while after his nervous breakdown. He then went to work on a farm while studying theology, where he became known as the "human tractor" thanks to his work ethic.
"I used to pray: 'I'm here until I find a story to tell'," he said. "Then, it all happened. I got an agent on Monday, auditioned for McLeod's on Thursday, got the job on Friday and was in Adelaide ready to start filming two weeks later."
Jeffery went on to win two Logies for playing Alex Ryan in Nine's long-running drama. Since then, he's had roles in Neighbours, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and more recently the award-winning Australian TV series Wentworth.
This year, he will star in Nine's latest Underbelly instalment as Chopper Read - the role he missed out on almost two decades ago. The actor said he drew on his past while playing the violent career criminal in the two-part series.
Underbelly Files: Chopper is set to premiere on Sunday, February 11.