Published February 07, 2018
Reese Witherspoon says leaving an abusive relationship changed who she was on a “cellular level.”
“A line got drawn in the sand and it got crossed, and my brain just switched,” the 41-year-old actress said of the moment she decided to leave. “I knew it was going to be very difficult, but I just couldn’t go any further. It was profound and I was young, really young.”
She continued, “I could never be the person I am today. I was a different person too. It changed who I was on a cellular level. The fact that I stood up for myself.”
Witherspoon went on to say that back then she didn’t have self-esteem.
“I’m a different person now, and it’s part of the reason I can stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ambitious.’ Because someone tried to take that from me,” she said.
She did not name her alleged abuser.
Witherspoon has been one of the main voices leading the charge for the Time’s Up movement.
Last year, after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, the “Big Little Lies” actress came forward with her own story of being sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16 years old.
“The understanding was that remaining silent was the condition of our employment. Do you want to work? Do you want to get ahead? Then you don’t talk,” she said. “But the rules have changed. And with Time’s Up, we’re making sure they’re changing for everyone — by providing legal and financial support to women in any workplace who have been harassed and are ready to speak up about it.”
Witherspoon has been married to Jim Toth since 2011, and she was married to Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2007.