Reese Witherspoon opened up about going through sexual harassment and abuse as well when she was just a teen. After many women spoke out about being sexually assaulted by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein this past month, Witherspoon decided to reveal her own experience with it as a young actress.
She recalled the mistreatment during an emotional speech at Elle’s 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration last night.
Reese started by addressing the ugly truth of the entire film industry that has now come out.
‘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 have been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier. [I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 and anger towards the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment,’ the actress went on.
But despite the fact that age 16 was the first time she was sexually assaulted, she admitted it was not an ‘isolated’ experience and that she rarely talks about it at all.
Witherspoon explained that seeing so many women come out about their own experiences compelled her to do the same.
The Big Little Lies actress added that she sincerely hopes talking about sexual harassment and abuse is going to create ‘a new normal.’
Addressing the young women in the crowd that also included her 18-year-old daughter, Reese said their lives would be a bit different knowing ‘we have your back.’