Huge Private Practice Spoilers: Major Character Will Be Raped

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Wow. Shonda Rhimes wasn't kidding when she teased that tragedy was coming to Private Practice - a series hardly a stranger to dark story lines already - in the next few weeks.

Now it's out of the bag: A major character is going to be raped.

We know who it is, too, courtesy of the long interview the actress just gave to Entertainment Weekly. If you have a weak stomach and/or want to be surprised, turn back now.

If not, proceed for the shocking details ...

Charlotte will be attacked and raped by a deranged patient October 28.

The vicious attack, perpetrated by a patient played by former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon, kicks off a season-long storyline that, not surprisingly, will touch every character on the show in one way or another.

Charlotte After the Attack

“A lot of violence against women on television is from the point of view of law enforcement,” says executive producer Rhimes, “as opposed to standing in the shoes of the actual victim and seeing how it is for them and the people around them.”

To that end, the November 4 episode will be unlike any previous hour of Private Practice in that it will revolve solely around the immediate aftermath of the attack on Charlotte.

“It takes place all in one night, and it’s [set] almost entirely in the hospital,” reveals Rhimes, who penned the episode. “And there’s almost no music. It’s a fairly silent episode. It’s a compelling, painful episode. The work KaDee did in it was amazing.”

Speaking of KaDee Strickland, here are portions of her Q&A with EW ...

On how she responded to the idea when pitched to her: "I was thrilled. I was so on board. It’s funny, we were at a table read and I gave Shonda my usual hug and 'what’s up?' and she said, 'I’m going to do something with your character this season and it’s huge and you’ll know soon.' And I’m like, 'Are you kidding me?' Once she saw the look on my face she said, 'We are going to have Charlotte be raped this season. Are you okay with that?' And my response was, 'Hell, yes. Let’s do it. Let’s go. I’m in.'"

"There’s something wonderful about playing a character for four years and then have her completely turned on her head. Creatively, it’s a real gift for an actor. I also knew that this would reach so many people who have either experienced it or have been close to people who have experienced it. The only thing I said was that we have to get it right. Shonda was totally on board with that."

"It was amazing. It’s a page-turner. It doesn’t feel like our show, and I don’t say that with any negativity toward our show. It almost feels like a movie in some ways."

On how this differs from other TV rape stories: "Shonda poured her heart and soul into getting it as accurate as possible. And it is. I mean, it’s legitimately very accurate. We worked very closely with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) on this."

"Also, we in no way are going to let this thing just go away in four episodes. Charlotte will be living with this for as long as she’s a character on Private Practice."

Over the past three seasons, Charlotte has been slowly tearing down the walls she built up around her. She’s less closed off than she was in the beginning. Is she going to revert back to old Charlotte now?

On not using a stunt double for the attack itself: "No way. I wasn’t letting anybody else step into those shoes. I would’ve been heartbroken if anyone suggested it. We had a great stunt coordinator, and we gave [Nicholas Brendon] full permission to go for it. I didn’t want to act around it and play around with it. I wanted make it as realistic as possible."

"I definitely wasn’t unscathed. And I don’t think [Nicholas] was either. Let’s just say that the day after, the makeup artists had a few legitimate bruises to cover up."

On the impact on Charlotte and Cooper’s wedding plans: "Derailing things with something like this is a lot more interesting than [one of us having] an affair or [getting] cold feet. This is very real. Do I think the wedding is off? I don’t. I think that you’re going to see Charlotte and Cooper as you’ve never seen them before. Charlotte leans into Cooper in a way that I don’t think she has ever in the history of the show."

What do you think? Are you looking forward to watching the drama unfold in this story, tragic and unsettling as it may be? Is Shonda pushing things too far? Discuss below.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I thought the last 2 episodes with charlotte's rape were outstanding. I was so move and the acting was incredibleand KaDee Strickland was amazing. I was glued to the spisodes and I really thought the show did an amazing job


This brave story line is very instructive and reflective of our time - violence, working with a personal crisis, and needing to become humble to keep growing, keep being alive. I have always loved this show and I applaud them for a story which can also evoke politic views. Also, rape is not being dealt with then tossed aside in one episode. They are showing physical and emotional trauma, not only was her body raped, her soul was too. Society needs to see and recognize what violence does to all of us, as her community does.


I was mesmerized at the acting in this episode. It was amazing! If she doesn't get an emmy for this... I can't wait to see what happens next, Yea! Private Practice!


That was the best acting in a tv drama series I have ever seen. Bravo to Shonda Rhimes. Keep up the great writing to make PP something different and difficult, at times, to watch but definitely worth it.


Wow, the tv goes off tonight without watching PP. I have followed the show since conception but with such destruction, I'm done. The storylines have become nothing but death, destruction and depression. I agree with the other writers, I can't stand the desperation of the writers to continually write downers....Please, dont' lose this show due to sensationalism and macabre writing.


Well to those of you that are done... you dont know a d@3n thing about real life. Private Practice, you get thumbs up from me due to the criticism that you will receive on both sides of the spectrum and then from the ignorant people that think life is ALWAYS honky dory. News flash to you all, this show this one specific episode is going to rock things uip a little and show us how terrifying life can be, if you cant handle... lock your doors and never come out of your houses!


I saw simply the commercial for this episode while watching Brothers & Sisters and I was so traumatized by that alone I could barely pay attention to the rest of the Bros&Sis episode. I agree with Nicole; it's really too difficult to stomach. Is rape really so common and accepted now that people are looking _forward_ to this storyline? It really shows how desensitized people are. I'm so sickened I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight.


i think she'll end up getting pregnant since cooper has been wanting a baby so bad.


i cant wait for this episode ! But what im wondering will we see charlottes family!! i think we will see a really vunrable side to charlotte but i hope it wont change her character completly @Lena i agree that why they have been pushing the babie story line so much!!


I'm calling it now - Charlotte won't be able to ever have kids because her internal organs will be so damaged that they will have to perform an emergency hysterectomy. That's why the show has been pushing the whole storyline of Cooper wanting to have kids. They've been emphasizing that to have there be more drama and tension once it turns out that Charlotte will never be able to naturally have a child of her own. And considering the fact that Cooper wasn't keen on adopting Betsy, even though he was adopted himself as a child, this should be interesting to see how he changes his tune when it turns out that Charlotte can't ever have biological kids of her own.

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Private Practice Quotes

Having a conscience is brutal.


Lucas's mom is amazing.


Private Practice Music

  Song Artist
Song Lost The Mary Onettes
Down in the valley Down In The Valley The Broken West iTunes
Song Message From Yuz The Switches