“Little People, Big World” star Jacob Roloff is coming forward with a “traumatic memory” of sexual abuse by a producer on the TLC reality series.
In a lengthy Instagram post Tuesday, Roloff claimed that he was molested by former producer Chris Cardamone while starring on “Little People, Big World” with his family.
“It is often much easier to think about things than it is to talk about them, and so this disclosure has been delayed, but through that delay, I have found the fortitude and words,” Roloff, 23, wrote. “As a child, after what I realize now was a long grooming process, I was molested by an executive field producer for ‘Little People, Big World.'”
Although Roloff said he doesn’t plan to “provide details of this encounter,” the child star said he hopes Cardamone is “never allowed around children again.”
USA TODAY has been unable to locate a representative for Cardamone.
In a statement to USA TODAY, TLC said it just learned of the “alleged encounter that occurred years ago involving a third party connected to the production of ‘Little People, Big World.'”
“We are saddened and troubled by this very serious allegation, and TLC will work cooperatively with the authorities,” the statement reads. “Our main focus remains on supporting the Roloff family during this very difficult time.”
Roloff is the youngest child of Amy and Matt Roloff, who both have dwarfism.
He appeared with his parents and siblings – twins Zach, 30, Jeremy, 30, and Molly, 27 – on “Little People, Big World.” Roloff was only nine when the series premiered in 2006. “Little People, Big World” is now in its 21st season.
Roloff said his alleged experience shows that “sexual assault, in all of its iterations, can happen to anyone at anytime and is a far more prevalent reality than our current social stigma allows us to talk about.”
He added that he didn’t speak out sooner because “a child must process” with “silence and time.”
In his post, Roloff compared reality television to “voyeurism” and questioned the ramifications of growing up in front of millions of viewers week by week.
“I continue my own contemplation on the voyeurism involved in the entire enterprise of reality television — a massive spectacle of drama and pain and argument and invasion, with a little joy sprinkled over, that viewers watch completely dissociated from the complex humans inside the simplistic ‘characters’ they see on TV,” Roloff said.
He continued: “The profits were indeed sweet. The actual experience was more complicated.”
Roloff concluded his message by emphasizing that “all fault lies with the predator” and that “no fault lies with any of my family members.”
“I am certain that this is a positive moment for me, and another step toward a brighter future,” he wrote.
Roloff married Isabel Sofia Rock in September 2019 at his family’s Roloff Farms near Portland, Oregon.
‘Little People, Big World’ star Amy Roloffis engaged to boyfriend Chris Marek