Reese Witherspoon Reveals She Was "Flummoxed" by Ex Ryan Phillippe's Money Comment at 2002 Oscars

While stressing the importance of feeling proud of one’s financial independence, Reese recalled a moment when now-21-year-old daughter Ava came home from second grade in tears. Ava’s classmates had told her that her mom is “one of the highest-paid actress in Hollywood,” leading the young girl to feel “so embarrassed.” 

Reese shared, “I said, ‘Don’t ever feel ashamed of a woman making money. There are women all over this world who don’t have an opportunity or an education or the ability to make money. And the more women who make more money, will give more money away, will take care of their societies, will take care of their communities, will do more with that money. So don’t ever feel bad about your mom making money, and don’t ever feel bad if you make money, and don’t be embarrassed or ashamed if its more than your partner.'”

The actress, who has become a prolific Hollywood producer, concluded by saying that she has “an interesting relationship with the word ‘power,’ and all I can think of is I just hope in my lifetime, I can help more women make more money. Financial stability is freedom.”

This is not the first time that Reese has spoken out about the importance of shifting how society talks about pay inequity. In a December 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said she was confused as to why it seemed “bothersome” to some people that she earned a reported $2 million per episode to star in Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.


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