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“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, 47, told Harper's Bazaar in a profile published Wednesday.
This time, Witherspoon said, things are different — better.
"To be able to talk to people directly about what’s going on in my life and just share it in the way that I share great professional experiences or personal experiences, 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 said. "Then, of course, there’s speculation, but I can’t control that. All I can do is be my most honest, forthright self and be vulnerable."
She called the period she's living through now "a vulnerable time for me.”
And she said she doesn't feel alone in the process.
“I think about how many other people are going through this experience,” Witherspoon said. “I don’t feel isolated at all. I feel very connected.”
The "Legally Blonde" star and Toth shared their decision to divorce in March in a joint statement posted to her Instagram account, saying that she and Toth, 52, had reached "the difficult decision to divorce" with "a great deal of care and careful consideration."
"We have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and are moving forward with deep love, kindness, and mutual respect for everything we have created," the statement continued. "Our biggest priority is our son and our entire family as we navigate this next chapter."
Reese Witherspoon, Jim Toth: Announce 'difficult decision to divorce' days before 12th anniversary
The former couple added: "These matters are never easy and are extremely personal. We truly appreciate everyone's respect for our family's privacy at this time."
Witherspoon and Toth share a son Tennessee James Toth, whom they welcomed in 2012. Witherspoon was previously married to actor Ryan Phillippe, with whom she shares two kids: Ava, 23, and Deacon, 19.
Reese Witherspoon says she 'didn't have control' in 'Fear' movie sex scene with Mark Wahlberg
Witherspoon also shared her insights on her career with Harper's Bazaar in the profile, touching on a sex scene in 1996 psycho-thriller movie "Fear," in which she starred opposite Mark Wahlberg — both on the cusp of massive fame at the time.
In the scene, Witherspoon's and Wahlberg's characters engaged in a sexual encounter on a roller coaster — now, nearly three decades later, Witherspoon said it "wasn't a particularly great experience." She had requested a stunt double for part of the scene filmed below the belt.
"I didn't have control over it,” she said. "It wasn't explicit in the script that that's what was going to happen, so that was something that I think the director thought of on his own and then asked me on set if I would do it, and I said no."
She said that she wasn't "traumatized or anything by it, but it was formative."
"It made me understand where my place was in the pecking order of filmmaking," Witherspoon said. "I think it's another one of those stories that made me want to be an agent for change and someone who maybe can be in a better leadership position to tell stories from a female perspective instead of from the male gaze."
Contributing: Charles Trepany
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Reese Witherspoon on her divorce from Jim Toth: 'A vulnerable time'