Reese Witherspoon showed signs of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last year, according to Oprah Winfrey.
Allegations of the disgraced producer's sexual misconduct were published in an expose in The New York Times last October (17), while Reese and Oprah were filming upcoming movie A Wrinkle in Time.
On the set of the film, Oprah and Reese had a discussion about the claims with a group of women, and the media mogul was stunned by just how affected her co-star was.
"This was like two days after the Harvey scandal had broken in The New York Times," Oprah said during a chat with Salma Hayek for her SuperSoul Conversations podcast. "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.
"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.'"
Oprah added that she questioned Reese about whether anything had ever happened to her but she didn't say anything.
"So I said, ‘Jeez, you guys are suffering from PTSD. Did something happen to you?’ Nobody said anything at the time," Oprah explained.
However, later that month as she attended the Elle Women in Hollywood event, Reese used her speech to reveal that she had been sexually assaulted by a director when she was just 16 years old.
"I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I've been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier," she said at the time.
"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."
Reese also added that the incident wasn't the only time she had been abused as an actress.
"I wish 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."