The 'Legally Blonde' actress explains that she didn't speak up earlier because she's afraid it might impact her career, 'Silence was a condition of my employment.'

AceShowbiz - Reese Witherspoon feels guilty she did not speak out about her experiences of sexual harassment sooner, but feared that, if she had, her career would have been over.

In 2017, the "Cruel Intentions" star revealed she had been sexually assaulted by an unnamed director when she was 16, but was told by agents and producers to remain silent.

And speaking to Britain's The Guardian newspaper, Reese revealed it was not the only time she has been harassed or assaulted.

"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," she explained.

After adding that she feels "guilt for not speaking up earlier," now the #MeToo movement has emboldened women to open up about their experiences of Hollywood misconduct, she admitted she was told in no uncertain terms that she was expected to remain silent.

"It was a culture of silence and silence was a condition of my employment. That's what I was told," the 43-year-old shared.

The star went on to express her gratitude to the women who have spoken out about harassment despite the cost to their careers, and is now determined to help others realise they don't have to keep quiet to be successful.

"I'm so grateful to the women who spoke out about things in their past because I'm in a different position, obviously, but those women had nothing to gain, and some lost their jobs over it," she added. "They are the real heroes in my mind."

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