Reese Witherspoon reveals she was abused as a teen actor; admits 'bad things' happened to her

The 43-year-old actress Witherspoon was sexually abused by a director when she was just 16 years old

The Big Little Lies actor Reese Witherspoon said she was assaulted and harassed as a young artist during her initial days in tinsel town. The 43-year-old actor revealed that the incident was not an isolated one. The studio owner was a prominent female voice who spoke aloud during the #MeToo controversy.

The Little Fires Everywhere actor opened up about her abuse during an interview with Vanity Fair magazine for their April issue. "Bad things happened to me. I was assaulted, harassed. It wasn't isolated. I recently had a journalist ask me about it. She said, 'Well, why didn't you speak up sooner?' And I thought, that's so interesting to talk to someone who experienced those things and then judge them for the way they decide to speak about them," she said.

'You tell your story when you are ready'- Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon / Instagram

"You tell your story in your own time when you're ready. But the shame that she tried to put on me was unreal, and then she wrote about how selfish I was for not bringing it up sooner. There wasn't a public reckoning 25 years ago when this stuff happened to me. There wasn't a forum to speak about it either. Social media has created a new way for people to express themselves that I didn't have," went on the actress.

"That's the great strength in power and numbers. I think we have a lot of judgment and that's unfortunate because we're all tender-footed in these new times. We're trying to find our identity," added Witherspoon.

Witherspoon recalls being only woman on the set among 150 men

During an interview in 2017, Witherspoon had admitted being a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a director when she was just 16 years old. The Legally Blonde actor, while rejoicing disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's sentencing in sexual assault and rape case, had tweeted: "A historical moment today. I am so appreciative of the women and men who spoke up about the abuse and harassment they suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. This gives me renewed hope in the US justice system that due process works, survivors will be believed, and justice will be served."

Witherspoon who made her Hollywood debut as a young teen in Man In The Moon (1991), said that earlier she used to be the only woman on a set among hundreds of men.

"I can remember being in pictures in which I was the only woman on the set and there would be 150 men. Maybe there would be a couple of women in wardrobe. I remember when I was a kid I would find them and cling to them," she said.

Speaking about her image as sex symbol, the blonde actor said: 'I always had a thing about exploiting sexuality. When I came up in the business, there were all these men's magazines we were told to cater to. I was never in Maxim. I was never picked as a GQ girl, and I'm okay with that because that's not how I wanted to be viewed. That's not how I see myself.'