Ashley Judd Talks Past Assaults Amidst Weinstein Scandal: 'I'm a Teller, Harvey Knows That'
The actress opens up about her depression and traumatic childhood to HOPE for Depression Research Foundation audience.
Actress Ashley Judd was one of the first women to come forward accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Since her story broke, over 50 others have shared their own accounts of alleged abuse at the hands of the defaced producer.
While the actress seemed to ignite a movement with her account of Weinstein, she says her admissions of similar occurrences weren’t met with such support.
At the HOPE for Depression Research Foundation luncheon in New York on Wednesday, where Judd was honored with the HOPE award for Depression Advocacy, she shared her history of sexual abuse as a child and opened up about her battle with crippling depression. The actress previously discussed her depression and traumatic childhood in her 2011 memoir All That Is Bitter and Sweet.
“I was sexually abused the first time I was in second grade,” Judd shared with the HDRF audience. “And I’m a teller — Harvey knows that,” she said, alluding to the recent scandal.
RELATED: Ashley Judd Meets Fellow Harvey Weinstein Accuser Mimi Haleyi at Women’s Media Center Awards
“I went straight to some adults and said, ‘This just happened, this guy molested me,’ and the adults said, ‘Oh, that’s not what he meant, he’s a nice old guy.'”
Judd then recounted what she described as “another sexual assault.”
“There was another sexual assault I experienced when I was wearing a green and gold cheerleading uniform, which is all I know, which means I was in the 7th or 8th grade,” she shared, “This guy is a registered sex offender in a county that is contiguous to where I live in Tennessee, but I have no conscious memory of that assault whatsoever.”
Judd said her mother, country music superstar Naomi Judd, reported the incident and the police followed up. Still, she said, she’s unable to recall the specific details.
A history of sexual abuse combined with what Judd calls “criminal abandonment and criminal neglect” as a child contributed to the now 49-year-old’s intense battle with depression. She described the illness as “being down in a deep, dark well… complete and total isolation.”
RELATED: Ashley Judd and Multiple Women Accuse Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Harassment as He Announces Leave of Absence
Judd told the audience she now describes herself as “a living example of why there is hope.”
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women including Judd, Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”