Reese Witherspoon reveals sexual assault at 16

ANI | Updated: Oct 18, 2017 09:29 IST

Los Angeles [U.S.A], Oct. 18 (ANI): Hollywood A-lister Reese Witherspoon has joined the list of actresses who opened up about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 41-year-old actress revealed that she was sexually abused by a director when she was just 16.

While giving a speech at Elle Women in Hollywood event, Witherspoon said, "[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. And I wish 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 and I don't speak about them very often."

The 'Big Little Lies' star also reflected on the past week, in which many big Hollywood actresses have come out with their own experiences of sexual harassment, which included allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"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. 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," noted Witherspoon.

She also shared that women speaking up about their experiences has made her want to speak up too.

Adding, "I have just spoken to so many actresses and writers, particularly women, who have had similar experiences and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories. That truth is very encouraging to me and to everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth."

In her concluding part of the speech, Witherspoon hoped that things would get better for next generation.

She said, "For the young women in this room, life is going to be different because we have your back and it makes me feel better because, gosh, it's about time. I'm so sad that I have to talk about these issues, but I would be remiss not to."

Witherspoon's comments come after dozens of women came forward in recent weeks to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. (ANI)

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