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Reese Witherspoon Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted By A Director When She Was 16

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein have opened the floodgates for people to come forward with their own stories, including Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek, that they may have been repressing for decades.

In another shocking reveal, Hollywood actress, Reese Witherspoon has said that she has not only experienced sexual assault throughout her career, but that it started when she was only a teenager.

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Witherspoon spoke out at the 24th annual Elle Women in Hollywood awards held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, California.

While introducing her Big Little Lies costar, Laura Dern, who was an honoree at the award banquet, she admitted that the Weinstein scandal has been tough on her.

"I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I have found it hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate," she said. "A lot of the feelings I've been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action."

That's when she opens up about what happened to her when she was only 16.

The 41-year-old Oscar-winning actress revealed her "true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and anger at the agent and producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment."

Witherspoon went on to say that she wished the incident only happened once, but unfortunately it didn't.

"And I wish I could tell you that that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly, it wasn't," she said. "I've had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault, and I don't speak about them very often, but after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight, the things that we're kind of told to sweep under the rug and not talk about, it's made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I felt less alone this week than I've ever felt in my entire career."

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“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,” she went on.

By sharing her story, she wants to be able to open the door for other young women not to have to put up and hide their experiences.

“I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal. For the young women in this room, life is going to be different because we’re with you, we have your back and it makes me feel better. It makes me so sad to talk about these issues, but I would be remiss not to,” Witherspoon concluded.

She isn't the only actress that has recently come forward admitted she was assaulted as a child. At only 9-years-old this familiar face of Hollywood had experiences of her own.

Later that night Ugly Betty star, America Ferrera posted on Instagram saying she was also sexually assaulted as a child. Using the #MeToo hashtag, she shared her experience and it broke the hearts of everyone.

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"First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9-years-old," she wrote. "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."

After the incident, she would continue to see this man on a daily basis for years to come and remember everything that had happened.

"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," she wrote.

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She then called out for everyone to break their silence to help the next generation not have to deal with this.

#metoo

A post shared by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on

Jennifer Lawrence was also a victim of the 'rape culture' in Hollywood. She recently came out and shared how she was pushed to lose 15 pounds in two weeks for a role, and was submitted to a nude lineup against thin actresses to compare her size.

– NEW | Jennifer at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in LA on October 17, 2017! | YES JEN, YES!!! #jenniferlawrence #jlaw

A post shared by Jennifer Lawrence Updates (@jenlawrnces) on

"In all of the sadness I think it's been oddly unifying," she said. "It's so fundamental to the female experience to be mistreated and feel ashamed of it."

Source: CNN / Q107