Reese Witherspoon is opening up about her experiences working as a child star in Hollywood.
In a raw interview with Vanity Fair, the actress said it was tough growing up in an “adult world” as she was subjected to inappropriate behavior from very early on.
“Bad things happened to me. I was assaulted, harassed. It wasn’t isolated,” revealed the 43-year-old, who made her movie debut in The Man in the Moon in 1991.
“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.
“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 tender-footed in these new times. We’re trying to find our identity.”
And the 43-year-old actress recalled how she used to be the only woman on a set of 150 men with “maybe” a couple of women in wardrobe.
Witherspoon added: “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.”
That’s why the actress is a firm believer in social media, because it allows everyone to have a platform and has helped facilitate the #MeToo movement to bring light to the dark side of Hollywood.
“Social media has created a new way for people to express themselves that I didn’t have,” Witherspoon told the publication. “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.”
Read the full interview at VanityFair.com.