Reese Witherspoon Says Leaving An Abusive Relationship Changed Her

The Big Little Lies star is opening up about a difficult time in her life.

During a candid SuperSoul Sunday interview with her Wrinkle in Time co-stars Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon revealed that she felt empowered after leaving a psychologically and verbally abusive relationship.

"A line got drawn in the sand and it got crossed, and my brain just switched," the 41-year-old actress said (via Entertainment Tonight). "I knew it was going to be very difficult, but I just couldn't go any further. It was profound and I was young."

She continued, "I could never be the person I am today. It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself. None of those leaving those's wrought with self-doubt, particularly if someone damages your self-esteem."

"I'm a different person now," the Home Again star added. "And it's part of why I can stand up and say, 'yes, I'm ambitious' — because someone tried to take that from me before."

Witherspoon said she remains optimistic in this new age of #MeToo and Time's Up, movements which followed multiple sexual misconduct scandals in the entertainment industry in the fall of 2017. "Social media has opened up a conversation that was not possible even 10 years ago," she explained. "Women are talking about things they've never spoken about, and they're actually being heard."

As Nicki Swift previously reported, shortly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October 2017, Witherspoon revealed that she had been sexually assaulted while working as a young actress in Hollywood. 

"[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," she said. "And I wish 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."

During her recent interview, Witherspoon did not name her abuser. 

She has been married to talent agent Jim Toth since 2011, and was previously married to her Cruel Intentions costar Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2007.