The Can't Buy Me Love actress, who died from an accidental drug overdose in July (15) at the age of 43, was allegedly attacked by a man more than twice her age.

Her mother Sylvia revealed the incident on U.S. talk show The Doctors on Monday (14Sep15), and said her daughter was never able to discuss the assault although it haunted her for the rest of her life.

Sylvia said, "At the height of Mandy's career, she suffered a very serious trauma. She had been raped. She just felt so ashamed. She didn't want people to know. I think it affected her forever."

The tragic star's father James added, "After (the rape), she became more defensive, less trusting, some of the sparkle was gone. We are among perhaps millions who have gone through these problems. You have to be very well attuned to what your children are doing, what they're saying. We all have to be more aware, and that doesn't diminish your love."

The actress's sister Anne-Marie said she was unaware about the sexual assault, adding, "I think for her to carry the secret, this burden of the assault, must have just been overwhelming."