Reese Witherspoon seen for first time since assault reveal

  • Reese, 41, has a bodyguard by her side as she stepped out in LA on Tuesday
  • The day before the actress had revealed she was sexually assaulted as a teen  
  • Speaking in front of her daughter, said it was not the last time she was attacked
  • Hollywood stars have been attempting to break years of silence around sex assault in their industry in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations 

By Heidi Parker and Julia Pritchard for MailOnline

Published: 14:42 EDT, 17 October 2017 | Updated: 15:37 EDT, 17 October 2017

Reese Witherspoon made a brave move on Monday evening at the Elle Women event in Hollywood when she revealed she had been sexually assaulted aged 16.

The Oscar winner was standing in front of a room of A-listers including Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain when she relayed how agents and producers pressured her to not talk after a director violated her.

The next day the Big Little Lies producer was spotted heading to a meeting in Los Angeles with a bodyguard by her side. Her mood was understandably serious.

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Back to work: Reese Witherspoon was seen heading to a meeting in LA the day after she revealed she had been sexually assaulted at age 16 by a director; next to her is a bodyguard
Back to work: Reese Witherspoon was seen heading to a meeting in LA the day after she revealed she had been sexually assaulted at age 16 by a director; next to her is a bodyguard

Back to work: Reese Witherspoon was seen heading to a meeting in LA the day after she revealed she had been sexually assaulted at age 16 by a director; next to her is a bodyguard

Reese looked fashionable as always in a red-and-blue plaid shirt with a ripped-hem denim mini skirt and brown wedge heels.

On her shoulder was a tote bag from her Draper James line and a long-strapped purse. She wore her blonde locks down in soft waves.

The mother-of-three appeared to be in a bit of a rush as she walked through a busy parking lot as a bodyguard strolled beside her. She normally does not have a guard by her side when out.

A lot to reveal: The mother-of-three appeared to be in a bit of a rush as she walked through a busy parking lot as a body guard strolled beside her
A lot to reveal: The mother-of-three appeared to be in a bit of a rush as she walked through a busy parking lot as a body guard strolled beside her

A lot to reveal: The mother-of-three appeared to be in a bit of a rush as she walked through a busy parking lot as a body guard strolled beside her

The Legally Blonde actress, 41, said at the Elle Women event that the attack was the first - but not the last - she has suffered.

She also struck out at the agents and producers around her at the time 'who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.'

Witherspoon is just the latest in a long line of stars and members of the public to share their stories of abuse in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations.  

Traumatic: Witherspoon on Monday at the Elle Women in Hollywood event, where she spoke
Traumatic: Witherspoon on Monday at the Elle Women in Hollywood event, where she spoke

Traumatic: Witherspoon on Monday at the Elle Women in Hollywood event, where she spoke

The star said she was attacked aged 16, likely in 1992 or early in 1993
The star said she was attacked aged 16, likely in 1992 or early in 1993
pictured here in 1992 starring in Desperate Choices: To Save My Child
pictured here in 1992 starring in Desperate Choices: To Save My Child

In the past: The star said she was attacked aged 16, likely in 1992 or early in 1993 (pictured here in 1992 starring in Desperate Choices: To Save My Child)

Speaking in front of her 18-year-old daughter Ava Phillippe, Witherspoon said: '[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.

'And 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.

'But 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.' 

Speaking out: The actress, who attended with her daughter Ava (above), went on to confess she had been subject to 'multiple experiences of harassment' throughout her career
Speaking out: The actress, who attended with her daughter Ava (above), went on to confess she had been subject to 'multiple experiences of harassment' throughout her career

Speaking out: The actress, who attended with her daughter Ava (above), went on to confess she had been subject to 'multiple experiences of harassment' throughout her career

She went on to urge others to go public with their cases of abuse - both for the sake of the future generation of actresses but also themselves, as admitting the truth will allow them to 'heal'.

She continued: 'I have just spoken to so many actresses and writers, particularly women, who have had similar experiences and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories. 

'That truth is very encouraging to me and everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth.

'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.' 

Inspired: She went on to state she had felt more empowered than ever by the 'brave' actresses who came forward about Weinstein - and felt ready to speak out (pictured with Nina Garcia)
Inspired: She went on to state she had felt more empowered than ever by the 'brave' actresses who came forward about Weinstein - and felt ready to speak out (pictured with Nina Garcia)

Inspired: She went on to state she had felt more empowered than ever by the 'brave' actresses who came forward about Weinstein - and felt ready to speak out (pictured with Nina Garcia)

Empowering: She went on to urge others to go public with their cases of abuse - both for the  future generation of actresses but also themselves, as revealing the truth will help them 'heal' (pictured with Storm Reid)
Empowering: She went on to urge others to go public with their cases of abuse - both for the  future generation of actresses but also themselves, as revealing the truth will help them 'heal' (pictured with Storm Reid)

Empowering: She went on to urge others to go public with their cases of abuse - both for the future generation of actresses but also themselves, as revealing the truth will help them 'heal' (pictured with Storm Reid)

While Witherspoon did not go into detail about the attack, it would have happened some time in 1992 or early in 1993 as she was just making a name for herself.

In 1992 she earned her third named movie credit, in a TV film called Desperate Choices: To Save My Child.

The following year she starred in A Far Off Place, Jack The Bear, and TV mini-series Return To Lonesome Dove.  

Reese spoke out about the abuse of women in Hollywood at the event alongside Lawrence - who slammed Weinstein's behaviour as 'inexcusable' last week.

Shocking: Jennifer Lawrence also revealed at the event she was 'degraded and humiliated' by Hollywood executives who forced her to lose weight for film roles
Shocking: Jennifer Lawrence also revealed at the event she was 'degraded and humiliated' by Hollywood executives who forced her to lose weight for film roles

Shocking: Jennifer Lawrence also revealed at the event she was 'degraded and humiliated' by Hollywood executives who forced her to lose weight for film roles

Crash diet: Jennifer revealed she was once forced by a female director to partake in a naked line-up with five women 'much skinnier' than her, to shame her into losing weight (pictured the year of her breakthrough role, 2010)
Crash diet: Jennifer revealed she was once forced by a female director to partake in a naked line-up with five women 'much skinnier' than her, to shame her into losing weight (pictured the year of her breakthrough role, 2010)
Shocking: Jennifer (pictured in 2010) was told to lose weight quickly
Shocking: Jennifer (pictured in 2010) was told to lose weight quickly

Crash diet: Jennifer revealed she was once forced by a female director to partake in a naked line-up with five women 'much skinnier' than her, to shame her into losing weight (pictured the year of her breakthrough role, 2010)

In her own speech, the Hunger Games star revealed she was once forced by a female director to partake in a naked line-up with five other women, who were 'much, much skinnier' than her. 

She then revealed she was asked to use the incident to lose weight, revealing onstage: 'After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.'

America Ferrera also spoke out about sexual abuse on Monday, saying she was assaulted aged nine by a 'grown man' she had to see for years afterward.

Their comments come after the shocking allegations about Harvey Weinstein came to light - with over 30 actresses accusing him of sexual harassment, four of which include rape.

Those recalling his inappropriate behaviour include Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale, as well as a string of other young actresses and models. 

Weinstein, 65, has given a statement to The New York Times apologising for his behaviour but insisted that he had never engaged in non-consensual sexual activity. 

Inspired: The Legally Blonde star's comments come after more than 30 actresses came forward to reveal Harvey Weinstein's sexually abusive behaviour (above) 
Inspired: The Legally Blonde star's comments come after more than 30 actresses came forward to reveal Harvey Weinstein's sexually abusive behaviour (above) 

Inspired: The Legally Blonde star's comments come after more than 30 actresses came forward to reveal Harvey Weinstein's sexually abusive behaviour (above) 

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