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Reese Witherspoon has alleged she was sexually assaulted by a producer when she was 16

She said she was told to remain silent by other producers.

REESE WITHERSPOON HAS alleged she was sexually assaulted by a producer when she was 16.

The Walk The Line star said she was told to remain silent other agents and producers about the incident.

The actor made the claims during a speech reflecting on the problems faced by women in the film industry at the Elle Women in Hollywood event on Monday, People Magazine reports. Witherspoon did not name the director in question but said that the incident was the first of many experiences of “harassment and sexual assault” throughout her career.

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, the guilt for not speaking up earlier.”
[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.”

She said that she was prompted to speak up after hearing other accounts of sexual assault faced by women in the film industry.

After 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.”

Witherspoon’s revelation comes in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, after the movie mogul was publicly and credibly accused of sexually harrassing and abusing women.

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera also came out this week with her own story of alleged abuse in an emotional Instagram post, prompted by the hashtag #MeToo.

Emerald Evening 💚 #ImagenAwards Styling- @karlawelchstylist Hair- @hairbyaviva Makeup- @kayleenmcadams

A post shared by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on

#metoo

A post shared by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on

“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.”

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.”

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