×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ashley Judd: Sexual Assault Survivors Have the ‘Birthright’ to Heal Themselves

Ashley Judd has never been hindered by fear — not in 1997 after she was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein and not when she took the stage Saturday at Tribeca Film Festival’s Time’s Up Day of Conversation and Action.

The day was stacked with panels featuring women — actresses, activists, business leaders, and poets — who are paving the way toward equality in the workplace. Proceeds will go to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an organization dedicated to providing legal and public relations assistance to victims of sexual misconduct. Since Jan. 1, over 2,500 people have contacted the fund, and more than 700 attorneys have signed up to help them.

“You should not have to choose between speaking out for a safe workplace or retaining your job,“ Marisa Tomei said of the Fund’s efforts.

With the wave of victims now breaking their silence, Judd recognizes that true closure goes beyond legal action. She sat down with Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement, to discuss the power and importance of healing. “Self care isn’t selfish,” she said. “It’s self esteem.”

Judd was living proof of that mantra Saturday, harnessing her vulnerability to share a deeply personal letter she penned to survivors of sexual assault. “It was not our birthright to be sexually harassed or assaulted or raped based on social constructs of gender, biology, sex, identity, orientation, ethnicity, race, ability, or any intersection thereof,” she said. “Healing, damn it, is our birthright.”

The actress and activist acknowledged that there’s no one-size-fits-all healing process. For some, it’s speaking up and seeking justice against those who have wronged them; for others, it’s quieter but no less effective.

Judd added, “When we change ourselves, we change the world.”

More Scene

  • Taron Egerton Cannes Film Festival 2019

    Taron Egerton Addresses ‘Rocketman’ Comparisons to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Takes Subtle Jab at Bryan Singer

    Taron Egerton says that he’s flattered by comparisons between his Elton John musical “Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” last year’s smash hit about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. “I’m proud that we’re mentioned in the same breath,” says Egerton, who plays John in the upcoming “Rocketman,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to a five-minute standing [...]

  • Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Griffin

    BAM Gala Marks Leadership Change, Celebrates Brooklyn as 'Cultural Center of New York'

    Wednesday’s annual gala celebrating the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) served as a poignant moment of transition for the New York stalwart of contemporary performance. As long-time artistic director Joe Melillo, who along with Harvey Lichtenstein transformed BAM into a vanguard of progressive art, prepares to pass the torch to new leadership, gathered patrons and [...]

  • Dua Lipa Tom Jones

    Dua Lipa and Tom Jones to Perform at amfAR's Cannes Gala (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety‘s Marc Malkin is on the scene at the Cannes Film Festival. Get the scoop on all the news, parties and more straight from the Croisette below. AmfAR’s upcoming Cannes gala is shaping up quite nicely. Sources tell Variety that the evening will feature performances by Dua Lipa and Tom Jones. And they’re not the only [...]

  • "Deadwood" Cast Describes Emotional Homecoming on

    'Deadwood' Cast Describes Emotional Homecoming on the Historic Set

    The phrase “Welcome the f— back” marks the billboards and posters for the return of “Deadwood,” but that sentiment doesn’t just apply to the audience. Returning to the town of Deadwood was a homecoming of sorts for the cast and crew of the HBO show, who shared that stepping back into the meticulously recreated late-1800s [...]

  • Awkwafina to Receive Maui Film Festival

    Awkwafina to Receive Maui Film Festival Shining Star Award

    Awkwafina will receive the Shining Star Award at this year’s Maui Film Festival. The 20th annual gathering runs from June 12-16. The award is given to actors “who dare to dream big dreams and delivers brilliantly charismatic and revelatory performances every time that opportunity knocks.” “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate and [...]

  • Issa Rae, Hasan Minhaj & Michael

    The 2019 Webby Awards Celebrate the Spirit of the Internet

    At the 23rd annual Webby Awards in New York on Monday night, presenters and honorees reflected on the advances that led to both the highs and lows of the internet in 2019 – and how the organization itself has had to evolve to accommodate that rapid shift. “When we started in 1997, pretty much the only [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content