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Reese Witherspoon reveals she was 'assaulted' as child actor

“There wasn’t a public reckoning 25 years ago when this stuff happened to me,” the "Big Little Lies" star said.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

Reese Witherspoon is opening up about some harrowing experiences she endured as a child actor.

“Ah, yes. Bad things happened to me. I was assaulted, harassed. It wasn’t isolated,” Witherspoon, 43, told Vanity Fair.

The Oscar winner, whose first on-camera role was the 1991 coming-of-age drama “The Man in the Moon,” says there’s a reason she never went public with her experiences.

“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,” Witherspoon said.

The “Walk the Line” star, who can be seen in the Hulu miniseries “Little Fires Everywhere” beginning Wednesday, said that journalist was displeased with the way she approached the matter.

“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,” Witherspoon said.

The actress, who recently starred on AppleTV+s “The Morning Show,” didn't get into any specifics about what happened to her, but she did allude to the #MeToo movement and how social media has changed the perception of such delicate matters.

“There wasn’t a public reckoning 25 years ago when this stuff happened to me,” she said. “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.’”