Reese Witherspoon has become the latest A-lister to open up about sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood. Sadly, the industry vet has had firsthand experience regarding this issue.
As you surely know, countless actresses — including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, etc. — have come forward this last week to expose indie movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator. While Miz Witherspoon has not declared herself as one of Harvey’s victims, she certainly empathizes with their plight as she’s been harassed and/or assaulted several times over the course of her career.
“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.”
It’s just so heartbreaking that so many women in the industry have had such unsavory experiences with men in Tinseltown. The Big Little Lies actress continued:
“[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 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 and I don’t speak about them very often.”
How awful. Nonetheless, the many brave women opening up about their experiences with sexual misconduct has inspired Reese to “speak up loudly.” After revealing that she feels “less alone” amid the confessions, Witherspoon concluded:
“I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal. 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.”
Hear! Hear! Like Reese, we stand with the many victims who’ve bravely come forward.
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]