Reese Witherspoon, 41, just came forward about her own sexual assault experience, claiming she was harassed by a Hollywood director when she was just 16.
During her speech at Elle's Women in Hollywood event this Monday, the actress delivered an emotional speech, saying: "This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths."
"I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I've been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier," she continued. 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. 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."
As As RadarOnline.com readers know, the string of chilling sexual assault CLAIMS from women around the world arose after Harvey Weinstein, 65, was accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace. He has apologized for his actions and is now in rehab for his alleged sex addiction.
Concluded Witherspoon, "Hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we're kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about, it's made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I actually felt less alone this week than I have ever felt in my entire career. I have just spoken to so many actresses and writers, particularly women, who have had similar experiences and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories. That truth is very encouraging to me and everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth."
During Elle's event, various other celebrities spoke out about their past incidents and thoughts on sexual assault. Jennifer Lawrence, 27, was one of the actresses who came forward about her experience, claiming she was once forced to stand nude in front of a crowd and later verbally abused by a director.
"During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me. We are stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates," claimed the actress. "After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet."
Lawrence then said she told another producer about the outrageous weight loss demands, hoping he would help. "He said he didn't know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was 'perfectly f***able.'"
How To Train Your Dragon star America Ferrera, 33, also spoke out about being sexually assaulted at a young age, writing a powerful message via Instagram.
"First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9-years-old. I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man," read the statement. "I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come. He would smile at me and wave, and I would hurry past him, my blood running cold, my guts carrying the burden of what only he & I knew — that he expected me to shut my mouth and smile back."
"Ladies, let's break the silence to the next generation of girls won't have to live with this bulls**t," concluded the brave actress.
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