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19th Sep 2016

‘Matilda’ star Mara Wilson talks about finding pictures of herself on sex and fetish sites at aged 12

The dark side of childhood fame.

She is one of the most recognisable and best-loved child stars of the 1990s.

Mara Wilson shot to fame in 1993 as the youngest child of Robin Williams and Sally Field in Mrs Doubtfire, before going on to star in Miracle On 34th Street (1994) and the brilliant 1996 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda.


After that movie, Wilson stepped away from movie roles to focus on her education. Now aged 29, Wilson has just published a book of essays chronicling her time as the most in-demand young female child star of her era.

Writing in Where Am I Now: Stories Of Girlhood And Accidental Fame, Wilson shows us the darker side of stardom by recounting disturbing experiences from the time period just before she became a teenager.

In an extract printed in The Guardian, Wilson talks about how, at aged 12, she “made the mistake” of searching her name on the nascent internet.

She writes how one set of search results “linked to a website with a description that said, ‘If you want Mara Wilson nude and sex pictures, click here’.”

She adds:

“My stomach dropped and my heart pounded as I desperately tried to make sense of it. Maybe there was some kind of porn actress who had the same name. Or what if I had been drugged and kidnapped and then somehow made to forget the whole thing? Some rational part of my brain remembered that there was such a thing as photo manipulation, that they could put my head on someone else’s body. But that didn’t make me feel any better: who was this poor anonymous girl whose body stood in for mine? I burst into tears.”

Furthermore, Wilson discovered that she was featured on a foot fetish site that included movies scenes where children’s feet were exposed.

In that Guardian piece, Wilson also tells of the extremely weird and inappropriate way that Hollywood reacted to her burgeoning puberty, as well as discussing her own struggles with body image.

Wilson’s book itself is published on September 22.