'90210' actress calls the girls she's met in Cambodia through the charity 'my heroes.'
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Cory Midgarden
"90210" star AnnaLynne McCord is a real-life do-gooder. The TV star works tirelessly to help spread the word about various causes, including one that is especially near and dear to her heart.
"The Somaly Mam Foundation is an anti-trafficking organization, sex trafficking specifically," McCord said. "Somaly Mam is the founder. She was trafficked at 12 years old. She was sold for over a decade. She tells all of this in her book, 'Road to Lost Innocence,' which is absolutely heart-wrenching, but a remarkable story of just a heroine of our time, in my opinion. She is now my sister — my bong srey, as we say in Chmer [Cambodia's language].
"She is the embodiment of what forgiveness is, and if you read her story and you read the things that happened to this woman, and you see the way she speaks about her former captives and the people who even continue to do this to these girls, it's with love and forgiveness," McCord continued about Mam. "And it's something you can't even wrap your head around, because all I wanted to do was just, you know, get a bunch of AK-47s and go blow the place up. I was just was just so angry."
McCord has managed to channel that anger into working with the foundation and serves as a Goodwill Ambassador, noting that she shows her support helps on a daily basis.
"The girls make these bracelets and necklaces. ... They're hand-woven. Silk is a major industry in Cambodia, and it's also a form of therapy. It's very monotonous, wrapping the silk thread around the wooden looms. But I wear it because they, they're from the girls," she explained. "Pretty much my jewelry is something the girls put on me when I've been in Cambodia with them. And they're my world. They make all of the craziness about our industry make sense to me. And they are my heroes."
Other charities McCord works with include St. Bernard Project and Artists for Peace and Justice. McCord will appear on "When I Was 17" this weekend, along with Mike Posner and Estelle.