Maitland Ward on why she went from Hollywood to porn: 'It's scary to forge your own path, but it's the only way that you're going to be happy'

At 45, Maitland Ward is unapologetic about "everything" in her life.
"I'm unapologetic about sex … but I think it's me in my truth and everything," she tells Yahoo Life. "When I was young, I was so apologetic for so many years. I will never apologize anymore."
The actress, who got her start on The Bold and the Beautiful before joining the cast of the popular teen sitcom Boy Meets World as Rachel in 1998, has since left Hollywood for a career in pornography. That shift — which she chronicles in her upcoming book, Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me From Hollywood, out Sept. 6 — was one of taking back control of her sexuality.
"I was always looked at, in my view, as the more provocative one — people were fascinated by my long legs, and that I'm so tall and I have fiery red hair, and it was like it almost made that OK," Ward says of her experiences on TV sets, noting that some of what she experienced would not be "acceptable" today. "People would come up and, like, pat you on the ass or like give you a little pinch or say, 'Oh, look how hot you are. Look at your tits.'"
What was especially challenging, Ward says, was that she was expected to be "a sexualized being" for other people, but not actually enjoy her own sexuality. She was told to be virginal and chaste, but also appeal to male viewers.