Hollywood legend KIM NOVAK’s startling confession.

As The ENQUIRER previously reported the “Vertigo” beauty unleashed a conflagration of controversy when she decried a film composer’s use of composer Bernard Herrmann’s “Vertigo” score in Oscar winning film “The Artist”.

Now Kim, 79,  has more than explained herself – she’s opened the door publicly to her secret trauma long buried.

"It was very painful," Kim told AP.

"When I said it was like a rape, that was how it felt to me. I had experienced in my youth being raped, and so I identified with a real act that had been done to me.

“I didn't use that word lightly. I had been raped as a child.

“It was a rape I never told about, so when I experienced this one, I felt the need to express it," Kim divulged.

"I never reported my real rape, so I felt the need to report this one.

“I felt that someone needed to speak up because the music has been taken advantage of too much. I hope that in the future, maybe somehow it will do some good."

Kim will be honored next month at the TCM Classic Film Festival where her film classics including “Picnic” and “Bell Book and Candle” will be screened.