Legendary Shirley Temple's short career as a Hollywood child has often left fans wondering why, at the height of her career, she decided to call it quits? Temple began her career at the tender age of 3-years-old, capturing the heart of the world with her singing, dancing, bouncing curls and adorable dimples.

The sadness behind Shirley Temple's eyes

Temple, who is best remembered for her for her 1934 hit film "Bright Eyes" passed away at the age of 85 in 2014, but not before finally revealing the tragic truth behind her years spent as a childhood star.

Shirley revealed those years were filled with fighting off constant sexual advances and attacks made by adults whom she was supposed to have been able to trust most. Some made by the biggest names in entertainment at the time.

This is sadly a story that appears to be more and more common among childhood celebs that are coming forward with similar horrific claims. One of the most recent tales comes from childhood stars Corey Feldman and the late Cory Haim who have previously opened up about their nightmarish life as young stars back in the 80s.

Hidden nightmares of the innocent Hollywood youth!

Those closest to Shirley have said that she was never able to get over the trauma of her childhood. Friends recall Shirley describing how she was forced to fight off her sexual attackers, men groping her, threatening and terrorizing her daily, and how it had just become too much for her to cope.

Revealing that was the real reason she fled the entertainment business.

Studio bigwig David O. Selznick, best known for "Gone With the Wind" was one of the names mentioned that caused Temple so much pain. She also recalled taking a meeting with comedian George Jessel to discuss a potential project that turned out to be a ploy to attack Shirley.

Her only means of escape was a swift kick to the groin.

A traumatized Shirley Temple felt her only escape was to marry at the age of 17. Looking for protection, things went from bad to worse after she wed actor John Agar, who turned out to be a violent alcoholic who abused Shirley throughout their marriage. This also forced her to call it quits with her marriage and the entertainment world once and for all at 22.

Friends claim that all the years of abuse had taken a toll on Temple and at one of her lowest points she even considered suicide. Following her divorce she had even believed she would give up on men entirely. Then as fate would have it she met and fell deeply in love with Charles Black.

The two lived happily together for 55-years, but, despite decades of a loving and happy relationship the abuse Shirley Temple endured as a young girl never left her completely. While never returning to her acting career, Temple did achieve fame in politics, becoming the first -- and only to date -- female U. S. Ambassador to what is now the Czech Republic.