Reese Witherspoon shocked everyone after revealing she was a victim of sexual harassment and assault by a movie director when she was new in Hollywood. The Big Little Lies star and executive producer shared that it first happened to her at the age of 16 and decided to keep the experience to herself.
Her confession was part of her speech delivered during Elle’s “Woman in Hollywood” event sponsored by Calvin Klein and L’Oreal Paris in Los Angeles on October 16. Reese’s admission was a reflection of the plight of all the women in the film industry in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, People reported.
The 41-year-old actress had chosen to speak about the ugly truths rampant in the entertainment industry and sympathized with those women who had experienced the same abuse but never had the chance to open up and defend themselves.
“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I’ve been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier,” Witherspoon told the audience.
“I felt true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old,” she revealed.
Witherspoon also took a shot at the producers who made her feel that “silence was a condition of [her] employment.”
The Academy Award Winner also shared what convinced her to speak up and move forward to address the injustices against women in Hollywood.
“But after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about,” she added. “It’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I actually felt less alone this week than I have ever felt in my entire career.”
Moreover, Reese ended her message of support on a very positive note, saying, “[The] truth is very encouraging to me and everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth.”
Reese Witherspoon is not the first A-list celebrity who has spoken up about the issue after the New York Times dropped its bombshell report accusing Weinstein of inappropriate behavior toward women in the field.
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