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Reese Witherspoon Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted At 16

"I wish I could tell you that that was an isolated incident in my career"

Oscar-award winning actress Reese Witherspoon has revealed she has had “multiple experiences” sexual assault and harassment throughout her career, the first by a director when she was just 16 years old. 

While on stage at ELLE‘s Women in Hollywood event, Reese revealed that the past week – following on from the many allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein – memories of harassment and assault “have come back to me very vividly.”

She said that she doesn’t speak about the incidents often, but after hearing others speak of their experiences she has “felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.”

“I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate,” Reese told the audience. “A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action.”

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“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.”

Reese’s story comes as thousands of women share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault to social media with the hashtag #MeToo.

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