Oprah Winfrey, she of many honorary doctoral degrees (including one from Harvard), believes Reese Witherspoon showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke.
Winfrey and Witherspoon were filming the highly anticipated A Wrinkle In Time when the first allegations about the Hollywood power broker surfaced last year.
Oprah, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling on set in New Zealand for their new film, A Wrinkle In Time.
“I was on set with Reese Witherspoon, who has since spoken out, and some other actresses who haven’t spoken out, so I won’t say who they were, and this was like two days after the Harvey scandal had broken in The New York Times,” Winfrey said during a recording of her Super Soul Sunday Conversation podcast with Salma Hayek.
”Everyone, including Reese – I’ve said this to her – was acting like, I was seeing some of the girls at my school behave, who were suffering from PTSD. Everybody was acting like they were afraid and they were having the conversation.”
Reese Witherspoon presented Oprah with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes earlier this year.
The former talk show host continued saying she was particularly concerned about Witherspoon after witnessing her reaction to the news.
“And I remember Reese saying, ‘Oh god, this is just so upsetting. And someone mentions his name, I start tearing up. And every time I hear someone else speak, it just causes me to be upset and I haven’t slept in two days’.
“So I said, ‘Jeez, you guys are suffering from PTSD. Did something happen to you?’ Nobody said anything at the time,” Winfrey recalled.
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Witherspoon has since spoken out about being sexually assaulted and harassed throughout her career.
“[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,” Witherspoon said at an Elle Women in Hollywood event.
“I wish that I could tell you that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly it wasn’t,” she continued. “I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault and I don’t speak about them very often.”
While Oprah is about as qualified to medically diagnose a patient as Pete Evans is to dish out nutritional advice, the billionaire has been a steadfast pillar of support for Witherspoon.
Witherspoon, an award-winning actress, producer and human ray of sunshine, also recently shared with Oprah that she left an abusive relationship when she was younger.
“I was young. Really young. I was a different person too. It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself. Leaving those situations [isn’t] easy because it’s wrought with self-doubt, particularly if someone damages your self-esteem. I didn’t have self-esteem, you know? And I’m a different person now,” Witherspoon said when she previously appeared on Super Soul Sunday.
Witherspoon didn’t name her abuser. She is currently married to Hollywood agent Jim Toth and was previously married to her Cruel Intentions co-star Ryan Phillippe. The couple, who started dating when she was 21, have two children and divorced in 2006.
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