Reese Witherspoon opens up about abusive relationship

The actor spoke to her 'A Wrinkle In Time' co-star Oprah Winfrey about the psychological and verbal abuse she experienced

Reese Witherspoon has opened up about an abusive relationship she used to be in.

The actor joined her A Wrinkle In Time co-star Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday this weekend (February 4), where she discussed what she described as “the most difficult decision” she has ever made.

Witherspoon said that decision was to leave “an abusive relationship”, saying someone she was with in the past subjected her to “psychological [and] verbal” abuse. Speaking about the moment she decided to leave, she said: “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.”

As CBS News reports, she added: “But it was profound and I was young.” She continued to explain that she thought she “could never be the person I am today” if she had stayed in the relationship.

Reese Witherspoon abusive relationship

‘A Wrinkle In Time’ stars Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey, and Reese Witherspoon

“It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself,” she said. “None of those leaving those situations… it’s wrought with self-doubt, particularly if someone damages your self-esteem.”

Witherspoon said that people who knew her at the time tell her she’s a “completely different person” now. “I didn’t have self-esteem,” she said. “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.”

Last year, the actor spoke out about being sexually assaulted by a film director when she was 16 years old.

“[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 Elle‘s Women In Hollywood event. “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.”