"We ended up in rocking chairs sitting by a creek together ..."
Ashley Judd has opened up in the past about being a three-time rape survivor -- but in a new interview, she revealed that she actually searched for and met up with one of the men who assaulted her for what she calls a "restorative justice conversation."
Appearing on the new episode of the Healing with David Kessler podcast, Judd and the host talked about surviving abuse, before the actress shared what led her to track down one of her rapists.
"When a man raped me in 1999, it was crazy-making because I knew better, I was very clear, my boundaries were intact, I was already an empowered, adult feminist woman," she shared. "And that this could happen under these circumstances was unconscionable, unforeseen, and yet I have had a restorative justice process with this person out of how replete my soul is today."
She made it clear that she "didn't need his cooperation" or "for him to make amends" to her in order to heal.
"Because I had the opportunity to do my trauma work, to do my grief work, to do my healing work, to have all these shifts in my own consciousness and to bond in these female coalition spaces with other survivors," she explained, saying that, only after that and "with god's help," she began to "slowly approach him."
"I tried to find him, he surfaced really easily and to make a long story short, we ended up in rocking chairs sitting by a creek together," Judd explained. "And I said, 'I'm very interested in hearing the story you've carried all these years.' And we had a restorative-justice conversation about that."
"I wanted to share that story because there are many ways of healing from grief, and it's important to remind listeners that I didn't need anything from him and it was just gravy that he made his amends and expressed his deep remorse," she concluded, "because healing from grief is an inside job. Or the journey with grief and trauma is an inside job."
Judd opened up about surviving sexual abuse as a child in her memoir, "All That Is Bitter and Sweet" and called herself a "three-time rape survivor" in 2019, while revealing one of the assaults led to a pregnancy. As she advocated for abortion rights at the time, she said she was "very thankful" she was able to safely and legally obtain one for herself.
In her book, she also wrote about being raped when she was a 15-year-old model in Japan ... and was one of the first women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, who she accused of derailing her career after she rejected his sexual advances.
The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline -- 800.656.HOPE (4673) -- provides free, 24/7 support for those in need.