Earlier this year, Grant Denyer went into filming his episode on SBS' genealogical show Who Do You Think You Are? with a definite pep in his step.
As the long-time Aussie TV personality tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat, he had hopes of uncovering some colourful, roguish ancestors that reflected his own cheeky personality.
'Harrowing, heartbreaking' past
But Gold Logie winner Grant's family tree had other, more sobering secrets in store for him.
"I went in with sunshine and rainbows, you know, hoping I was going to be related to a cool bushranger or something," he admits ahead of his episode going to air on Tuesday, July 13.
"So when it kind of went completely the other way it made it really hard to talk about because it's not something that anyone would be proud of," he adds.
What the 43-year-old former Family Feud host uncovered was a female relative about four generations back who had been subjected to 'harrowing, heartbreaking' domestic abuse.
The revelation shocked Grant to the core and he found it very difficult to come to terms with.
"You want to be proud of who you are and be proud of your lineage but when you find someone who's committed horrific acts, it makes it very hard to be proud of," he says.
"It's very hard not to feel responsible in some way but you can't be responsible for the acts of your ancestors."
Grant's pledge to his daughters
While processing the news, Grant's three daughters — Sailor, 10, Scout, 5, and five-month-old baby Sunday — who he shares with his wife, Chezzi were front of mind.
"I'm so deeply aware that my whole purpose on earth is to make sure that they are safe and protected and they feel loved," he explains.
Despite her extremely difficult circumstances, Grant's female relative managed to bring about positive legal change for women which he says was a 'proud moment' to finish on.
He's now pledged to pass on this story to his daughters when the time is right.
"I want my girls to grow up knowing that they have a voice and they will be heard, and they should stand up for what's important for them," he says.
Grant's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? airs 7.30pm Tuesday, July 13 on SBS and SBS On Demand.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual or domestic abuse, don't suffer in silence, call 1800 RESPECT any time of day or night.
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