Priyanka Chopra is one of the most bankable stars in the world, and married to a rock star, Nick Jonas. But her American dreams didn’t come easy, she reveals in a memoir, Unfinished, set to drop February 9th and previewed in People. Chopra, who was born in India, says she experienced more than her share of bullying in the U.S. when she came here to attend school at age 12.
She tells People: “I took it very personally. Deep inside, it starts gnawing at you. I went into a shell. I was like, 'Don't look at me. I just want to be invisible.’ My confidence was stripped. I've always considered myself a confident person, but I was very unsure of where I stood, of who I was.”
In Unfinished, Chopra explains that other teenage girls would yell insults like, “Brownie, go back to your country!” and “Go back on the elephant you came on” as she walked down the hall.
She decided to “break up” with America. “I was so blessed that when I went back to India, I was surrounded by so much love and admiration for who I was,” she says. “Going back to India healed me after that experience in high school.”
She hopes to reach others who have been bullied through Unfinished. She says: “Sadness is very seductive. It sucks you in and you want to just wallow in it because it feels comfortable and warm — and light is harsh sometimes. But you have to look at it, you squint. The light is a lot, but it gives you life. It gives you joy. We have the choice, most of the time, to step out of the darkness ourselves. The best way I've found of doing it is talking to people who care.”