I was assaulted at 16, says Reese

Actor Reese Witherspoon has opened up about being sexually assaulted by a director when she was just 16.

By PTI
  • Published 18.10.17
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Reese Witherspoon

Los Angeles: Actor Reese Witherspoon has opened up about being sexually assaulted by a director when she was just 16.

The 41-year-old star hoped the Harvey Weinstein scandal will encourage women to speak up about harassment, reports People magazine.

"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," Witherspoon said during her speech at the Elle Women in Hollywood event.

Dozens of women have come forward to allege Weinstein of sexual assault.

Sharing her story, Witherspoon said, "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.

"(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." Witherspoon said reading about stories of other women convinced her to finally "speak up".