Oprah’s recent Super Soul Sunday Conversation live event was full of revelations from Oprah herself and from her guests, but during her chat with actor Salma Hayek, things got especially real. At one point, the Harvey Weinstein scandal came up and both women shared their feelings about and how they connected to it, whether there was actual alleged abuse or whether they had to witness their friends deal with the scandal in their own way.
While Hayek discussed with Winfrey why she held back from revealing her own horrific experiences with Weinstein, Winfrey revealed something surprising about that moment in time: that her Wrinkle in Time costar, Reese Witherspoon, showed signs of PTSD when they both heard about Weinstein in fall 2017.
“I was on set with Reese Witherspoon, who has since spoken out… and some other actresses, who haven’t spoken out, so I won’t say who they were, and this was like two days after the Harvey scandal had broken in The New York Times. 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,” Winfrey told Hayek and the audience in attendance.
The news apparently affected Witherspoon to the point that she began crying while on set with Winfrey, and Winfrey believes she even lost sleep over it. For Winfrey, the reaction to the Weinstein news was profound in the sense that she was able to witness the power of that moment in time and the kinds of after-effects it truly had on women.
“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,'” Winfrey noted. “So I said, ‘Jeez, you guys are suffering from PTSD… Did something happen to you?’ Nobody said anything at the time.”
It was only recently that the general public knew just how deep the roots of Witherspoon’s troubled past went. Witherspoon revealed in another conversation with Winfrey that she had left an abusive relationship when she was younger and that she became stronger for it. But while Witherspoon has gently touched on the fact she’s had possible Weinstein-like experiences during her career, despite not really elaborating, it is truly heartbreaking to hear that her reaction to that news was so deeply felt that it left her visibly shaken.