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Reese Witherspoon is the latest to come forward and publicly talk about her experiences with sexual assault in Hollywood. The actress was one of many women at Elle‘s Women of Hollywood gala Monday night to address the Harvey Weinstein scandal and tell her personal story. Witherspoon shared that she was assaulted by a director she was working with at the age of 16 and how the past two weeks have brought back memories and emotions from that time. She also expressed anger at the producers and executives that kept her silent then, and those that continued to silence hundreds of other women in the industry.

‘This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths,’ she said, ‘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, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action.’

‘[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment,’ she continued, ‘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 went on to say that while the past few weeks have been difficult, they have also been therapeutic and crucial in highlighting the systemic issue that is sexual abuse.

‘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,’ she said, ‘I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal. For the young women in this room, life is going to be different because we’re with you, we have your back and it makes me feel better. It makes me so sad to talk about these issues, but I would be remiss not to.’

Jennifer Lawrence also opened up about her past experiences at the gala, telling the audience about the ‘degrading and humiliating’ nude lineup she had to participate in to get a role. The revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual assault of women for decades has sparked a wave of women coming forward to tell their stories and face the issue of systemic misogyny head on.