Kellie Pickler Admits She Suffered Child Abuse

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Former American Idol star Kellie Pickler, 20, may have a sitcom in the works, and a debut album, Small Town Girl, that's sitting at No. 1 on country charts, powered by the success of her debut single, "Red High Heels."

Kellie Pickler: Kickin' Butt

But success hasn't come easily.

Fans of American Idol who got to know a little about Kellie Pickler last spring know that she suffered a traumatic childhood.

But the extent of that was not widely known. In the latest edition of Us Weekly, Pickler reveals that she was a victim of physical and mental child abuse -- at the hands of her mother.

Her father, a drug abuser, cycled in and out of prison for armed robbery, a fact that American Idol producers mentioned more than once in creating a marketing hook for Kellie's inspiring rise to stardom on the contest.

But that wasn't the only hardship encountered by Pickler back in her formative years. In fact, there was a lot more we didn't know.

She's breaking her silence about a violent home life, recounting a chilling moment from her childhood when her mother told her to commit suicide:

“I remember my mother and I were in the kitchen and I said, ‘I wish God would take me away, I’d much rather be dead than live here with you.’ She took a knife out, set it on the counter and said, ‘Here, do it then.’ I was in fourth grade. Of course I never would have acted upon it, but it’s done a lot of emotional scarring.”

Pickler's home life has been anything but stable, making her success this year even more incredible.

Pick up Us Weekly to read more from the talented starlet, and be sure to buy her new album, too. We're working on getting the lyrics to it up on our site. That should be done this week!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.