Hollywood couple-turned-reality TV stars Casper Van Dien and CATHERINE OXENBURG believe they make the perfect couple because they were both abused as children.

The two stars, who have turned their madcap family life into I MARRIED A PRINCESS, only recently came to terms with their painful pasts.

Former DYNASTY star Oxenburg, who is a descendant of European royalty, started to realise her eating disorder was related to forgotten memories of childhood sexual abuse when her daughter hit the age the actress was when she was abused.

Oxenburg, 43, says, "There's a tremendous correlation between eating disorders and childhood sexual abuse. I didn't want to hurt anybody else but I ended up re-enacting the abuse over and over again by hurting myself.

"My eldest child hit that age and that's when my memories came back... I checked myself into rehab."

STARSHIP TROOPERS star Van Dien recently confessed he had been hiding his own sex abuse secret for 18 years.

He says, "I was molested when I was eight years old by a woman who was 18, and I kept that a secret for 24 years."

The couple insist that because of their own pasts, they make perfect parents - because they know what signs to look out for in their kids.

Oxenburg adds, "We're really conscious about not letting the children have secrets from us."

10/05/2005 09:31