Oprah Winfrey has spoken out about the impact of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse scandal on her friend and Wrinkle in Time co-star Reese Witherspoon, saying the actress showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
During a SuperSoul Conversations podcast taping, Winfrey recounted Witherspoon’s response to the sexual abuse allegations levelled at Wesintein in October.
“Everyone, including Reese – I’ve said this to her – was acting like, I was seeing some of the girls at my school behave, who were suffering from PTSD. Everybody was acting like they were afraid and they were having the conversation.”
Winfrey described how Witherspoon—who revealed she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16—cried at the mention of Weinstein’s name.
“And I remember Reese saying, ‘Oh god, this is just so upsetting. And someone mentions his name, I start tearing up. And every time I hear someone else speak, it just causes me to be upset and I haven’t slept in two days,’ ” Winfrey said.
“So I said, ‘Jeez, you guys are suffering from PTSD. Did something happen to you?’ Nobody said anything at the time.”
Witherspoon first spoke out about being a victim of sexual harassment and assault at the Elle Women in Hollywood event in October.
“[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment,” she said at the time.
“And I wish that I could tell you 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.”
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