Reese Witherspoon discusses how an abusive relationship changed her

The actress opened up about how she learned to stand up for herself and found the courage to leave her partner in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
2:43 | 02/07/18

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Transcript for Reese Witherspoon discusses how an abusive relationship changed her
We'll turn to our "Gma" cover story, academy award winning actress and powerhouse producer Reese Witherspoon sitting down with Oprah revealing she was in an abusive relationship, Eva pilgrim is back with that. Eva, Reese says leaving that relationship really, really changed her life. Yeah, Reese Witherspoon talked about with Oprah how hard it was to leave that relationship, the self-doubt, the damaged self-esteem but says standing up for herself, it changed her on a cell U level making her who she is today. Reese Witherspoon opening up about a difficult past relationship. What's the most difficult decision you've had to make to fulfill your destiny? For me probably leaving an abusive relationship. Revealing in an interview with Oprah that she was once in a psychologically abusive relationship. A line got drawn in the sand and it Goss crossed and my brain just switched and I knew it was going to be very difficult but I just couldn't go any further. But it was profound and I was young. Really young. Reporter: The "Legally blonde" star has quickly become one of the most prominent voices championing women in Hollywood as part of the time's up movement. A lot of feelings I've been having about anxiety and about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action. Reporter: She says it's her own experiences driving her to take action beginning her own production house in 2012 with the mission of telling women's stories. Nothing is going to stop us. Reporter: Including the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries "Big little lies." Witherspoon sharing there wasn't a woman in the cast who hadn't been affected in some way by abuse. Each one of us had very specific experiences, they weren't -- it was a rank of experiences, but there wasn't a woman there that hadn't been affected by abuse. Not one of those women. Reporter: The Oscar winner saying she refused to be broken by her own past, instead typing her strength. I'm a different person now and that's part of the reason I can stand up and say, yes, I'm ambitious because someone tried to take that from me. She said ambition is not an ugly word. You've heard her say that before. Read more in "O" that hits newsstands February 1th. We were talking about an article with her, looking forward to reading this article in "O" magazine but in a previous one. The way she has transformed herself and realized she had to take ownership that she -- if she wanted to be in movies she to make movies. She has a lot of ownership now. Her mom saying if you want it done you got to do it yourself. You can't expect someone to do it for you. She's creating so much. She really is. Very powerful.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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