Reese Witherspoon says she isn't letting anyone else tell her story.
The Academy Award-winning actress and business maven, who founded companies Hello Sunshine and Draper James, opened up to Harper's Bazaar for the magazine's August 2023 cover story, discussing her decision to share news of her divorce from husband Jim Toth on her own terms.
"When I was divorced before, the tabloid media got to tell people how I was feeling or how I was processing, and it felt very out of control," Witherspoon said, referencing her split from ex Ryan Phillippe, to whom she was married from 1999 to 2008.
She continued, "It feels much more authentic to be able to say things in my own voice and not let somebody else control what's happening."
Witherspoon acknowledged that she can't control the "speculation" that follows something like the joint statement she and Toth made in March, in which they announced they were divorcing after 12 years of marriage.
"All I can do is be my most honest, forthright self and be vulnerable," she said. "It's a vulnerable time for me."
Witherspoon said it "feels good" to own the narrative this time around, adding that she feels "very connected," as divorce is an experience many people go through.
Elsewhere in the interview, the Hollywood mogul revealed two iconic '90s movies she "went hard" for but ultimately didn't get: the Alicia Silverstone-starring classic "Clueless" and the moody "Romeo + Juliet" from director Baz Luhrmann.
Witherspoon said she wanted to do the latter "so badly" but noted that Claire Danes "was amazing" opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.
"...But it was devastating to me that I didn't get it after screen tests and getting really close," she recalled.
These days, the 47-year-old Witherspoon said she is embracing the feeling of "liberation" she has come to know in this decade of her life.
"It's a liberation in your 40s to feel free of other people's opinions," she said. "I mean, they're always there. They just don't matter as much to you, and it's a great feeling."