I’m shocked! I’m shocked that Oprah Winfrey allowed two other actresses on the cover of O Magazine! Usually, O is just all about Oprah! But Oprah is promoting A Wrinkle In Time, where she costars with Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling in the Ava DuVernay-directed film adaptation. Oprah, Reese and Mindy reportedly got along really well, and they’ve been joined at the hip during the early promotional appearances. I really do think they get along, which makes me happy… in particular for Mindy, because I want Oprah and Mindy to be BFFs. In any case, being around Oprah has made Reese feel very comfortable… comfortable enough to talk about how she left an abusive relationship:
In the March issue of O, The Oprah Magazine (on newsstands Feb. 13), Oprah Winfrey interviews actresses Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon, her co-stars in Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. The trio talk openly about how the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up initiative have impacted Hollywood—and, by extension, women across all industries.
“What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to fulfill your destiny?” Winfrey asks.
“For me, probably leaving an abusive relationship,” Witherspoon replies, adding that she endured both “psychological” and “verbal” abuse. “I drew a line in the sand, and it got crossed, and my brain just switched. I couldn’t go any further. I was really young, and it was profound.”
Without delving into the specific details, Witherspoon explains, “It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself. It’s part of the reason I can stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ambitious.’ Because someone tried to take that from me.”
I’m not going to call this a “blind item” because I don’t think that’s how we should frame conversations about abuse and abusive relationships. But… I mean, Reese is saying this in a very careful way, and she’s definitely giving us some clues. She met Ryan Phillippe when they were both pretty young (I think she was like 19 or 20 when they met), and she got pregnant really quickly and then they got married. I don’t know if she dated anyone seriously before Ryan. Ryan has also been accused recently of physically abusing a girlfriend, Elsie Hewitt. His ex-fiancee Paulina Slagter seemed to indicate that she had some stories about him too. So… while I think Reese is being careful and she probably doesn’t want us to speculate about her ex-husband, I can’t help but think that Reese is referencing Ryan. I mean… it fits.
Photos courtesy of Ruven Afanador for O Magazine.