Actress and former model Alana Stewart has revealed she was raped at knifepoint during a home invasion when she was 18.

An intruder broke into the Nacogdoches home of singer Rod Stewart's ex-wife in Texas and forced her to have sex with him.

The 67 year old details the horrific experience in her new memoir Rearview Mirror, and when quizzed about the incident on U.S. breakfast show Today on Thursday (27Sep12), Stewart recalls it was the one moment that convinced her take a leap of faith and move to Hollywood for a better future.

She said, "It's what propelled me to finally just get the guts to leave Texas and leave my past behind.

"For a woman, you never expect this to happen to you. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be raped.

"And, in Texas, back in those days, it was such a stigma. It was such a shameful thing to have happen to you, and I was treated by the police, then, like I was the perpetrator, not the victim. It was really quite a horrible situation."