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Ashley Judd met with her rapist to help heal her grief

Ashley Judd met with her rapist to help heal her grief
Actress Ashley Judd speaks at the Milken Institute's 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, US on April 30, 2018.
PHOTO: Reuters

Ashley Judd met with her rapist to help heal her "grief" from her ordeal.

The 54-year-old actress was sexually assaulted in 1999 and, several years later, "tried to find" her attacker, who "surfaced very easily" so they were able to meet for a "restorative-justice conversation".

Speaking on the Healing with David Kessler podcast, Ashley said: "To make a long story short, we ended up in rocking chairs sitting by a creek together. 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, because healing from grief is an inside job."

David explained people "may not realise" that grief applies to the fallout of being assaulted.

He added: "You lose innocence."

Ashley agreed: "One loses safety. I lost a sense of trust."


The A Time To Kill actress called her rape "crazy-making" because she "knew better" as an "empowered feminist woman" with "boundaries".

She said: "I was very clear, my boundaries were intact. I was already an empowered, adult feminist woman.

"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."

The Double Jeopardy actress was keen to stress she didn't need the "co-operation" of her rapist when he agreed to have the meeting, or for him to "make amends" or "do anything differently in order for me to have a process that was independent from that previous asymmetry of power".

She added: "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."

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