Reese Witherspoon Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted By a Director at 16
Reese Witherspoon joins a strong string of leading ladies, who have claimed that they've received unwelcome sexual advances while working in the film industry.
"This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths," the Legally Blonde actress said during an event on Monday evening.
Witherspoon revealed that she was also sexually assaulted at 16-years-old, and then silenced after the incident. "[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16-years-old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment."
Admitting that there have been other similar experiences during her career since then, the Academy Award winner shared: "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."
While she once felt that silence was her only option, the Big Little Lies star said that opening up about the uncomfortable incident has been a cathartic experience, divulging that she has "felt less alone this week than [she's] have ever felt in [her] entire career."
"I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal," she concluded. "For the young women in this room, life is going to be different because we're with you, we have your back and it makes me feel better. It makes me so sad to talk about these issues, but I would be remiss not to."
We commend Reese for speaking out after decades of silence.