Reese Witherspoon became an ambitious go-getter after leaving an abusive ex.
The actress, producer and lifestyle guru has opened up to her A Wrinkle in Time co-star, Oprah Winfrey, in a new interview, revealing her decision to walk away from a negative relationship in her 20s was truly life-changing.
The 41-year-old tells Oprah leaving her unnamed ex was the “most difficult decision” she has ever made, revealing he was psychologically and verbally abusive towards her.
“A line got drawn in the sand and it got crossed, and my brain just switched and I knew it was going to be very difficult but I just couldn’t go any further,” she says. “But it was profound and I was young.”
Reese insists that she would never have become the person she is today had she not walked out: “It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself.
“People say to me, that knew me then, ‘You’re a completely different person’. I didn’t have self-esteem. I’m a different person now 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.”
And she now realizes that so many women share her story – a fact that was hammered home as she developed hit cable TV drama Big Little Lies, which revolves around domestic abuse.
“There wasn’t a woman there (on set) that hadn’t been affected by abuse,” she explains.
Reese is confident the #MeToo and Time’s Up anti-harassment movements will give more and more women strength to leave abusive relationships: “Social media has opened up a conversation that was not possible even 10 years ago,” she adds. “Women are talking about things they’ve never spoken about, and they’re actually being heard.”