Rachel Jeffs, who is now 33 years old, says that the sexual abuse that she suffered at the hands of her father (the cult leader Warren Jeffs) began when she was only eight years old.
In a Friday morning interview with Megyn Kelly, Rachel spoke about her life as a child in her father’s cult where he declared himself the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She recalled “I told my mother when I was about ten,” adding “I remember thinking ‘if my father is doing this and the world is wickeder, are the world’s fathers even worse than this?’ I remember thinking that I guess I should be grateful that it’s only this bad.”
Her father had “more than 70 illegal marriages” — and “as many as a third of which were with underage girls” — and she also revealed was forced into an arranged marriage when she was a teenager. She said on her wedding day, her father called her into his office and told her “I want you to ask for a baby tonight,” when she tried to back away, he insisted on the point. Rachel says that the sexual abuse that went on within the cult “was so against [Warren Jeff’s] teachings, so against what he had taught us, I didn’t even know what to think and I just felt terrible.” She told Kelly that her father abused her “more times than I can count.”
She appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show ahead of her book entitled “Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult and My Father, Warren Jeffs,” which will go on sale on November 14, PEOPLE writes.
Jeffs has become infamous for the score of abuses he committed while leading the cult church in Arizona and Texas that he inherited from his father. In 2005, he was finally brought down when authorities indicted him on sexual conduct with a minor charges, per Biography.com. A slew of indictments followed and he went on the run, eventually landing on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” He was finally captured and served as his own attorney — as he spent most of his time allotted to speak giving rambling monologues on the Book of Mormon. The jury found him guilty on all counts and sentenced him to life in prison.
He has also been ordered to pay out retributions for his crimes; in September, a court ordered the former preacher to pay $16 million to a woman who he forced into a marriage when she was only 14 years old. Judge Keith Kelly, who oversaw that case, wrote “The conduct of Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church was so extreme that it went beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.”
Even though he will die in a prison cell, Warren Jeffs allegedly still runs the town and leads the church. In 2016, the polygamist’s former bodyguard, Willie Jessop, testified against the church, when asked why he decided to switch sides, Jessop said “Because those sons of bitches were raping girls in Texas, and they knew it and I knew it and that battle is still raging today.”