Reese Witherspoon has bravely come forward and revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was a teenager.
The Oscar winner shared that it happened many times during her career, “I wish that I could tell you that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault.”
Reese openly spoke up about the Weinstein abuse scandal at the Elle Women in Hollywood event, on Monday night.
She looked back at the past week, and shared that it has been one of the most emotionally draining times for women in Hollywood.
She said, “This has been really hard 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.”
She thanked the women who came forward, “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, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly.”
Reese said the courageous women who came forward and shared their stories inspired her to speak about her own experience. She hopes that by sharing her experience, women will feel like they’re not alone.
The Big Little Lies star admitted that her own experiences will always haunt her, “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, honesty, the guilt for not speaking up earlier.”
Reese also expressed her hurt, “[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.”
Talking to other women made Reese feel less alone, “That truth is very encouraging to me and everyone out there in the world, because you can only heal by telling the truth.”
She said the women who have bravely shared their stories will help the future generation, “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.”
Her strength is admirable.
Reese is one of many actresses that have come forward with sexual abuse allegations in the past two weeks. Over two dozen women have claimed that movie producer Harvey Weinstein assaulted them, and three women have stated that he raped them.
The claims are currently being investigated by police in New York and London.