Reese Witherspoon is opening about the assaults she suffered as a child star in a revealing cover interview with Vanity Fair. The 43-year-old actress and producer, who has earned an Oscar, Emmy and multiple Golden Globes, broke out as a star at 15 in A Man on the Moon.
But despite all of the apparent glamour in her life, Witherspoon says it was anything but an easy road. She says: "Bad things happened to me. I was assaulted, harassed. It wasn't isolated."
Witherspoon, who revealed the assault at age 16 previously, says that many questioned her motivations for sharing her story: "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. 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."
She says that when she was attacked, the culture wasn't as receptive to hearing about abuse, as there it is now, thanks to #MeToo.
Witherspoon says: "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. 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 tenderfooted in these new times. We're trying to find our identity. That's what I really like about The Morning Show."
Witherspoon stars in Apple TV+'s The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston.