Reese Witherspoon was spotted on her way to a business meeting in Century City, California on Friday. The actress was dressed in a bold red dress and animal print heels. The 41-year-old looked extra confident and strong, no doubt relieved to finally coming clean after years of keeping her alleged sexual assault as a teen a secret.
On Monday Reese attended the 24th Annual Elle Women in Hollywood event with her 18-year-old lookalike daughter, Ava Phillippe. Reese took the stage to introduce honoree and fellow actress Laura Dern, but the Academy Award winner first revealed that a director had sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. Reese went on to say that this was not an isolated incident and that she had suffered “multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault” during her long career as an actress.
Reese joins the increasing numbers of women in Hollywood who are adding their voices and personal stories to the “me too” movement encouraged by fellow actress Alyssa Milano on Twitter. While the Big Little Lies actress and producer admitted that she has been feeling both anxious and guilty about not speaking up sooner. After having shared her story, Reese says she is feeling, “less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.”
Read Reese’s Elle Women In Hollywood speech below and let us know what you think in the comments section or tweet us @Star_News.
“I didn’t sleep at all last night. This is going to be a real emotional rollercoaster because, before we get started honoring one of my very favorite people in the whole world, I just want to say, this has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, for men in a lot of situations and a lot of industries that 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 found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate. A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, 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. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault, and I don’t speak about them very often, but after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight, the things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.
And I’ve just spoken to so many actresses and writers, and particularly women who’ve had similar experiences, and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories. And that truth is very encouraging to me and to everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth. Very smart, wise women have told me that in the past three days, and I feel very encouraged by this group of people tonight who have created a community of people who are champions now of a new attitude toward harassment in our industry and every industry that’s going to address the abuse of power in this business and every business and I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal.”