Reese Witherspoon has revealed details about why she recently spoke out about being sexually assaulted by a director.
In a frank discussion hosted by Oprah, several celebrities sat down to talk about the #TimesUp movement.
Reese Witherspoon. Photo / Getty
The Wrinkle in Time actor said she was done with staying silent. “As you can see, I’m very emotional about it but I keep going back,” she told Oprah.
“Somebody sent me this Elie Wiesel quote that said, ‘Silence helps the tormentors. It doesn’t help the tormented, and neutrality helps the oppressors not the oppressed.’
“And there’s moments that you have to evaluate whether silence is going to be your only option and in certain times that was our only option, but now is not that time.”
The actor was joined by Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shonda Rhimes and more to discuss what they want to see change following numerous sexual assault claims in Hollywood.
Last October, Witherspoon said it was hard to talk about the incident, which took place when she was just 16.
Reese Witherspoon as a young actress. Photo / Getty
“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate,” Witherspoon said. “A lot of the feelings I’ve been having [anxiety about], about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action, true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt 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 that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly, it wasn’t.”
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