Reese Witherspoon reveals she was 'assaulted' as child actor

Reese Witherspoon is opening up about some harrowing experiences she endured as a child actor.

"Ah, yes. Bad things happened to me. I was assaulted, harassed. It wasn't isolated," Witherspoon, 43, told Vanity Fair.

The Oscar winner, whose first on-camera role was the 1991 coming-of-age drama "The Man in the Moon," says there's a reason she never went public with her experiences.

25 PHOTOS
Reese Witherspoon out and about
See Gallery
Reese Witherspoon out and about
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by UMV/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon during the WSJ Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards at Museum of Modern Art on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Actress Reese Witherspoon arrives at ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Reese Witherspoon (L) and Ava Phillippe attend 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 during filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Home Again' special screening at The Washington Mayfair Hotel on September 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Reese Witherspoon poses in the press room at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Reese Witherspoon attends the HBO's Official 2017 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 17: The cast of Big Little Lies, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Zo�Kravitz at the 69TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS, LIVE from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Sunday, Sept. 17 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/5:00-8:00 PM live PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Trae Patton/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on September 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Reese Witherspoon -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0732 -- Pictured: Actress Reese Witherspoon during an interview on September 7, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Reese Witherspoon seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Reese Witherspoon is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, September 7, 2017 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) REESE WITHERSPOON
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06: Reese Witherspoon attends The Cinema Society with Elizabeth Arden & Lindt Chocolate host the after party for Open Road Films' 'Home Again' at The Skylark on September 6, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the premiere of 'Home Again' at Directors Guild of America on August 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 29: Reese Witherspoon and Ava Elizabeth Phillippe attend the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Home Again' on August 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 25: Actress Reese Witherspoon arrives at HBO 'Big Little Lies' FYC at DGA Theater on July 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO)
D23 EXPO 2017 - Saturday, July 15, 2017 - The Ultimate Disney Fan Event - brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (Image Group LA / Disney via Getty Images) MINDY KALING, OPRAH WINFREY, REESE WITHERSPOON
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Reese Witherspoon is seen on June 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Reese Witherspoon is seen on June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 04: Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon at the Goldie Hawn And Kurt Russell Honored With Double Star Ceremony On The Hollywood Walk Of Fameon May 4, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Reese Witherspoon attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Commes Des Garcons: Art of the In-Between', the 2017 Costume Institute Benefit at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Reese Witherspoon attends the 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"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," Witherspoon said.

The "Walk the Line" star, who can be seen in the Hulu miniseries "Little Fires Everywhere" beginning Wednesday, said that journalist was displeased with the way she approached the matter.

"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," Witherspoon said.

The actress, who recently starred on AppleTV+s "The Morning Show," didn't get into any specifics about what happened to her, but she did allude to the #MeToo movement and how social media has changed the perception of such delicate matters.

"There wasn't a public reckoning 25 years ago when this stuff happened to me," she said. "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.'" 

Read Full Story