Reese Witherspoon was ‘assaulted and harassed’ as a young actress

American actress Reese Witherspoon says social media has allowed people to express themselves.

Reese Witherspoon was “assaulted and harassed” as a young actress.

The Big Little Lies star has opened up about what she went through when she was younger and thinks social media has helped people open up about their own experiences, and thus encouraged others to talk too.

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

— Reese Witherspoon

She said: “Bad things happened to me. I was assaulted, harassed. It wasn’t isolated. 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.

On a set with 150 men

“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.

Speaking to the April issue of Vanity Fair magazine, she 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.”