Big Little Lies actress Reese Witherspoon has shared how her experience in an abusive relationship altered her life. On Oprah’s Soul Series show, Witherspoon explained just how life-changing an abusive relationship can be.
“It was profound and I was young”, she told ET, stating that her decision to leave the relationship transformed her into the person she is now. “I could never be the person I am today. It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself…A line got drawn in the sand and it got crossed, and my brain just switched and I knew it was going to be very difficult but I just couldn’t go any further.”
The 41-year-old actress added that by taking things into her own hands she gave herself a sense of empowerment. “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”.
While Witherspoon did not name the abuser, she previously disclosed an incident of sexual assault by a director when she was just sixteen. “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 in October. “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, whom she shares a son with, since 2011.