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Reese Witherspoon Says 'Bad Things Happened' to Her: 'I Was Assaulted, Harassed'

Reese Witherspoon Says 'Bad Things Happened' to Her: 'I Was Assaulted, Harassed'

Reese Witherspoon is on the cover of Vanity Fair‘s April 2020 issue, on newsstands March 24.

Here’s what the 43-year-old Big Little Lies star had to share with the mag…

On being a child actor: “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. 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 tenderfooted in these new times. We’re trying to find our identity. That’s what I really like about The Morning Show.”

On not building her career on sexuality: “I always had a thing about exploiting sexuality. When I came up in the business, there were all these men’s magazines we were told to cater to. I was never in Maxim. I was never picked as a GQ girl, and I’m okay with that because that’s not how I wanted to be viewed. That’s not how I see myself. I always say, ‘Funny doesn’t sag.’ I always just wanted to be funny, you know? And you can’t be rendered obsolete if you just keep being funny. Guess what gets rendered obsolete? Your boobs go south, your face goes south, your ass goes south, but you can always be funny. And those are my idols, my heroes—Goldie, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Nancy Meyers—smart and funny.”

On her Hollywood sister: “You know, you meet people, you’re friends with people, but I say about a few women in my life, they are my sister. I don’t have a sister and I found my sister in Laura [Dern]. No one makes me laugh like Laura. She’s magical.”

For more from Reese Witherspoon, visit

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Credit: Jackie Nickerson/Vanity Fair
Posted to: Magazine, Reese Witherspoon

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