Movies | October 18, 2017 10:26 am

Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera Come Forward With Sexual Assault Allegations

The actresses both revealed Monday that they were assaulted when they were younger.

Reese Witherspoon speaks onstage during ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Real Is Rare, Real Is A Diamond and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE)
Reese Witherspoon speaks onstage during ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Real Is Rare, Real Is A Diamond and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE)

A slew of allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have sparked a viral movement that is inspiring women and men who have endured sexual assault or harassment to come forward and speak openly about their experiences.

Actresses Reese Witherspoon and America Ferrara are the latest in Hollywood to share their stories. Speaking at the 24th annual Elle Women in Hollywood awards, CNN reports that Witherspoon acknowledged that watching the Weinstein scandal unfold has been difficult because of the complex emotions it’s made her feel.

“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I have found it hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate,” Witherspoon said. “A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action.”

She went on to say she felt “true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old, and anger that I felt at the agents, and anger at the agent and producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.”

Witherspoon noted that this wasn’t an isolated incident — she has “multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault” — but she wanted to speak up because “I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.”

Actress America Ferrara also noted she has multiple experiences with harassment and assault, coming forward in an Instagram post to encourage women to “break the silence so the next generation of girls won’t have to live with this bullsh-t.”

#metoo

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