Reese Witherspoon Says A Director Assaulted Her When She Was 16

HuffPost

Actress Reese Witherspoonsaid Monday she was assaulted at age 16 by a director in one of several instances of sexual misconduct she has endured in her career.

Witherspoon said in a speech at the Elle Women In Hollywood Awards that she feels “true disgust at the directorwho 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,” according to People.

“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.”

Reese Witherspoon told the audience at Elle's Women In Hollywood celebration that women coming forward made her "want to speak up and speak up loudly" about her own experiences being sexually abused.
Reese Witherspoon told the audience at Elle's Women In Hollywood celebration that women coming forward made her "want to speak up and speak up loudly" about her own experiences being sexually abused.

Witherspoon, a 41-year-old mother of three, didn’t name the director.

She said she was inspired by women in and out of show business who have come forward to recount experiences of being preyed upon as allegations against producerHarvey Weinsteincontinue to mount. Many women, including actressesAshley Judd, Mira Sorvino and Gwyneth Paltrow, have accused the mogul of predatory behavior. TheOscar-winningWitherspoon said she had wrestled with guilt about not speaking out earlier about her own experiences in Hollywood.

“But after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly.”

I felt less alone this weekthan I have ever felt,” she added, per Elle.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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