Jacqueline Gold, the daughter of Birmingham City Football Club chairman David Gold, yesterday spoke of her determination to help others by writing about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
The Ann Summers chief executive visited the chain's shop yesterday in the Bull-ring in Birmingham to launch her autobiography A Woman's Courage.
In the book, Ms Gold claimed she had been subjected to years of sexual abuse, but felt unable to talk about it until her mother died in 2003.
The 46-year-old, who lives in Kent and was recently voted as one of the 100 most influential women in the country, also penned her experience of broken relationships, conflicts with friends, depression and being stalked.
In addition, she detailed her problems with trying to start a family after her attempts at IVF failed. At the book signing, Ms Gold said: "It's fabulous to be in Birmingham.
"We have got a fabulous store here and considering my interest in football with Birmingham City, it is really nice to be here and the people of Birmingham are so warm anyway. It's lovely.
"I have had so many challenges in my personal life yet so many great successes and I think it's good for women to realise that I'm not a victim and other women could benefit from that.
"There are a lot of people who have had small things happen to them and I think that really helps.
"It took me four months to write my autobiography and I started it after my mother died in 2003. I wouldn't have done it before then.
"In the book, I have spoken about a secret I have kept for 30 years. Writing about the childhood abuse I suffered was the most difficult bit for me but now the book has been published, my mother's awareness of the situation has been the most difficult aspect to come to terms with.
"I also talk about IVF, stalkers, someone sending a bullet through the post - it is a very colourful book, very shocking, lots of humour, with a bit about when I spoke at the Oxford Union. The students were great, they were so forthcoming and wanted to ask me so many questions."
In the autobiography, she refers to her abuser as John. He became her mother's second husband but she never describes him as her stepfather.
Referring to her father David Gold, she writes: "Dad was very upset at having to leave us. Much later, when he discovered he had left us in the same house as a man who was to violate us, it tore him apart." She also writes: "My abuser had nobody in his way. My mother not only made him part of our family - she was herself helpless to resist him.
"It took me more than 20 years to talk to anyone about the abuse. I used to think about it every day but now feel as if I've let go of a huge burden. Now days go by when I don't think of it at all. I wanted to tell my story to give other people strength. Because from a young age I made the decision not to be a victim. I'm a survivor. Even as a young girl I was determined John would not determine my future.
"My hope is other people who have been subjected to abuse can take some comfort from me."
Ms Gold yesterday said the book also reflected the success of the Ann Summers brand in "empowering" women.
She joined the company at the age of 19 and worked her way to the top, becoming its chief executive in 1987. Ann Summers now boasts a sales force of more than 7,500 women as party organisers, has 134 High Street stores in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands and an annual turnover of £155 million.
She said: "I feel really passionate about the brand. I feel as passionate about the business now as I did when I started and it is great to be an inspiration to so many women.
"I take credit for what Ann Summers has done for society. We have empowered women and have taken shops from back streets to what it is today.
"A total of 75 per cent of our customers are women anyway and it is great that women are taking charge of their sex lives.
"In the old days, husbands or partners would have to go into sex shops to buy under-wear but now women can take charge of their own lives."
* Jacqueline Gold: A Woman's Courage is published by Ebury Press, RRP £6.99