Scott Brown became a star of the Republican Party last year when he was elected to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy's death. In an exclusive "60 Minutes" interview with Lesley Stahl, the senator opens up about his painful past, admitting he was the victim of sexual abuse as a child.
But will this disclosure impact his political future?
Jonathan Allen, senior congressional reporter for Politico, said on "The Early Show" that Brown's revelation is "human and not political."
Allen told co-anchor Erica Hill, "I don't think there's any political negative here. I mean, there's no one he would be alienating here. If anything, obviously this humanizes him to a great number of people. ... You've got obviously people who will draw inspiration from this, victims of child sexual abuse who will see the successful, powerful guys coming out and saying this and would be able to draw that they, too, can overcome that, and make something of themselves, and not be afraid of it, and not have it be a stigma."
Allen said Brown's anecdote came out primarily in preparation for his memoir's release on Monday.
"I think the timing really has to do simply with the fact that the book's coming out," he said.
Allen said on Capitol Hill, "people are talking about it."
He said, "This is really a startling revelation. I can't think of any other member of Congress -- certainly no male member of Congress -- who's come out to talk about sexual abuse that they suffered."
Hill asked if the new memoir "Against All Odds" could be Brown's "Audacity of Hope," referring to the book by President Obama' that thrust him into the political spotlight.
Allen replied, "Absolutely. Politicians these days write their tell-all memoirs in advance of running for higher office. Scott Brown has been mentioned as a potential national ticket guy. So that's certainly something that could be happening here. President Obama revealed a lot in his memoirs. There were, I guess, two of them I guess before he ran for president. So certainly, that could lay the groundwork. But I think, you know, what he said is that this is something that happens in life and that's why he included it in this book. And that he was just being forthcoming about it. Like you said, it's part of his life."
He added, "I'm told by people who have seen the book that the first few chapters in his early life, the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, are very hard emotionally to read through, but once you get past that, it's a very inspiring tale."
Brown, viewers learn in the "60 Minutes" piece, suffered at the hands of a camp counselor.
Stahl says in the preview, "You tell us that you were actually sexually abused. More than once."
Brown said, "Fortunately nothing was ever fully consummated, so-to-speak. But it was certainly -- back then, very traumatic. He said, 'If you tell anybody, you know, I'll kill 'ya. You know, I will make sure that-- that no one believes you.' And that's the biggest thing. When people find people like me at that young, vulnerable age, who are basically lost, the thing that they have over you is -- they make you believe that no one will believe you."
Stahl continues, "So you never reported it?"
"No," Brown said. "My mom will read about it for the first time. My wife-- is-- is--"
"Didn't even know?" Stahl asked.
Brown said, "Read about it -- no, no. And I haven't told anybody. That's what happens when you're a victim. You're embarrassed. You're hurt."
You can watch the rest of Lesley Stahl's exclusive interview with Brown Sunday night at 7 p.m. Eastern on CBS.