Sunny Hostin, co-host of The View, is opening up about a traumatic incident she witnessed as a child and how it shaped her desire to become a federal prosecutor.
Hostin, 51, appeared on Tamron Hall’s talk show on Monday and explained how seeing her uncle get stabbed when she was a child, growing up in the Bronx, NY, shaped her career path and her desire to give voice to marginalized communities, according to PEOPLE.
“It’s something I don’t talk about a lot, but I thought it was time for me to start talking about it,” Hostin said. “When I was about 7, I saw my uncle get stabbed in front of me. [He was] my father’s only brother and I adored him. He was the fun uncle.”
“Just the two of us were there,” she added. “He was dating someone who turned out to be married, and her husband came in and attacked him. I remember as a child just trying to stop the bleeding, just being so traumatized, thinking, ‘Please Uncle Ed, don’t die, don’t die, don’t die.’ And, we never talked about it as a family…ever.”
Hostin’s uncle didn’t die that day, but several years later she said her uncle passed away from complications stemming from that stabbing.
Hall, whose own sister, Renate, was murdered in 2004, told Hostin that she could relate to keeping the incident buried in her consciousness.
“The same thing happened with my sister’s death — we didn’t talk about it,” Hall told Hostin. “But, at some point in your life, as an adult, you saw and understood, as I did, the power in sharing that pain.”
Hostin said the incident left her wanting justice for her uncle.
“One thing about my uncle that I never quite got over — no one was prosecuted,” she said.
“The police were not really interested, and I remember being in law school thinking, ‘I want to be a prosecutor. I don’t want to be a defense attorney. I want to get the guy that did that to my uncle.’ And as a journalist, I wanted to give voice to the voiceless. I wanted to tell those stories.”
Hostin and Hall are both proclaiming this truth by sharing their stories.
“I recently said to my dad, ‘What happened to Uncle Ed is why I do what I do,’” Hostin shared. “And he said, ‘You remember that?’ They really thought that by moving me from the Bronx, putting me in a different school, not talking about it…it wouldn’t have an impact. And, that’s why I think as families, we have to talk about it.”
Hostin is also the host of the new docu-series, Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin airing on Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery.