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 seem to be one of the few who really enjoyed the Betsey episode. Shonda's aim was to show that they are all selfish in a way. They all have to deal with their own busy lives, so adopting a child? Besides, adoption doesn't happen by waving a magic wound. It's a very hard process, so it's only fair that no one adopted her in the end, even though they thought about it. Especially Violet (I loved her in this episode by the way).
I think Charlotte's storyline will be very interesting to watch. How will she cope with it? How is Cooper going to react? And how are the other characters going to react as well? Only Dell knew that Violet had been raped in college (and Addison probably knows too), so I'm really looking forward to see how it will affect Violet as well. I trust Shonda and her team for dealing with this subject with respect.


This storyline is going to be even more compelling than what happened with Violet in the previous season!! For all those who have grown to love the character of Charlotte, we hope she can handle all this, and that she and Cooper will mature as a couple!


After watching the "Betsy" episode - I am so done with the show.
I couldn't believe it ended like that. What the ...made no sense. I hated all the characters for that and what's the point of watching. If Dell knew what happened; he'd have a heart attack!


All of these comments are dumb. It's a show people. Get a life, a real life.


Here Here.. I never post comments but I was sooo Done with the way the cast turned their back's on Dell's daughter.After he sacrificed his life to save Sam and Naomi's daughter and grandchild. Not to mention they all sat around while his brain was bleeding and let him die... DONE.. Just Done.. Huge fan of both this show and Grey's but that is unforgivable.. I thought the idea of the "Practice" was that they were all family a boutiqe clinic of world renowned specialist.. What a crok they are selfish and self absorbed no one should turn their back on family!


I have to agree with all the others about last week's epi. For all of thos doctors to turn their backs on Dell's daughter was beyond heartbreaking. It made them look very uncaring and selfish. And to say they did it for Betsy's own good is luicrious. I think Shonda Rimes grossly underestimated the negative reaction from the fans of the show. Maybe she thought it was the most realistic outcome to the situation. I disagree. For not one of the characters to step up and offer to take care of that child instead of letting her basically become a ward of the state was inexcusable. That was not in the child's best interest. It was in their best interests. Unless Rimes was trying to reveal that the main characters on this show are not the caring individuals they seem to be, but are actually a bunch of pathetic, self-centered jerks, the epi's ending makes no sense. Now I really don't care what bad experiences may befall any of them. They have all become very unsympathetic characters. Way to Rimes. You may have deep-sixed your show.


These characters are not redeemable. I wish I could care, but after "A Better Place to Be" I have a lot of better places to be. I hope they pull the well-prepared for rape episode and hold it until after one or all of these characters grows a soul. Shonda Rimes must be losing her touch.


Well, now I'm glad I missed last weeks episode. I can't believe Violet wouldn't take in Dell's daughter. that sucks. I wonder if Nichalos Brandon can actually be any other character than "Xander"
Not sure he can portray a violent rapist. He just doesn't have that mean violent look. even his Criminal Minds character is just another Xander type


I do not understand what the purpose of bringing Betsey onto the show was tonight! Simply to break viewers hearts? The writers have caused a great show to suffer. The actors should have refused this episode -- no one with a heart could turn their back on a friends child the way they did. There is nothing that could make this right again! I have faithfully watched this show since the pilot -- I won't be watching any more -- there is no justifiable reason to follow this episode with a rape scene next. Just too sad -- I would watch the News or CSI or something if I wanted this much sadness.


I was truly upset with the Betsy story line last night. I’m done! Why bring Betsy back if she wasn’t going to stay? Every character in the practice could afford to take care of her. None of the characters gave a good reason of why Betsy couldn’t stay?
If the characters on the practice could not come together and support an orphan child how can they support a rape victim?

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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