Reese Witherspoon has revealed that she was attacked by an unnamed film director when she was 16 years old.
In the speech of Elle Women at the October 16 Hollywood event, the Oscar-winning actress said she was “genuinely disgusted with the director.”
She also said she was “angry … at the agents and producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my work.”
Reese Witherspoon said she has experienced many other “experiences of harassment and violence” during her career.
The actress did not go into details about her experiences as a 16-year-old, but added: “I wish I could tell you that this was an isolated incident in my career, but unfortunately it was not.”
Reese Witherspoon said she did not talk about these experiences “very often.”
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However, she continued: “After hearing all the stories over the last few days … the things we were told to sweep under the rug and not talk about made me want to talk and speak loudly because I felt less alone this week, than I have ever felt in my entire career.
“And I’ve just talked to so many actresses and writers, and especially women who have had similar experiences, and many of them are boldly going public with their stories.
“And this truth is very encouraging for me and for everyone in the world, because you can only heal by telling the truth.”
Reese Witherspoon said she did not sleep before giving her speech because of “the feelings I felt about anxiety, honesty, guilt that I had not spoken before or taken action.”
The actress referred to the fact that “it was a difficult week for women in Hollywood” after the statements of Harvey Weinstein.
However, she said she believed there was a new attitude towards harassment that would address “the abuse of power in this business and in any business”.
Reese Witherspoon added: “I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal.”