Meryl Streep says she dealt with physical violence and Cher was present

Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep revealed she was faced with physical violence twice.

On Wednesday, Streep spoke at the Committee to Protect Journalists' 27th annual International Press Freedom Awards in New York where she revealed the terrifying incidents.

"The two times in my life when I was threatened and dealt with real, physical violence, I learned something about life that I wouldn't have known otherwise. And I was lucky because my instincts served me well," Streep said.    

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She recounted the two incidents, one in which she said she was attacked and "played dead and waited until the blows stopped."

Streep then described another incident when someone else was being abused.

She said in that case, she "went completely nuts" and chased the man off. Streep mentioned Cher was there during the incident but did not elaborate much further.  

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"I was changed by these events on a cellular level. Because women do know something particular about coming to the danger place," Streep said. “We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger, we expect it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.