LOS ANGELES - Veteran actress Kim Novak has lashed out at the "bullies" who mocked and criticised her appearance at the Academy Awards last month.
The 81-year-old, star of Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 masterpiece Vertigo, said she was too humiliated to leave her house after the wave of ridicule and jokes made about her slow speech and rigid appearance while presenting an award alongside young actor Matthew McConaughey.
In an open letter on Facebook, she said she regretted taking medication to help her relax before the Oscars because "it affected my behaviour".
"However, I will no longer hold myself back from speaking out against bullies. We can't let people get away with affecting our lives. We need to stand up to them in a healthy way by speaking out, working out and acting out.
"I am speaking out now because I don't want to harbour unhealthy feelings inside me anymore."
Addressing what she called "the elephant in the room," she added in the posting: "Years ago, I walked away from Hollywood partially because I didn't stand up to the bullies.
"I caved in to the pressure instead of fighting for what I felt was right... and I didn't have the courage to prove myself to my peers through my work." She continued: "After my appearance on the Oscars this year, I read all the jabs. I know what Donald Trump and others said."
Trump had tweeted, "Kim should sue her plastic surgeon!" after her appearance at Hollywood's biggest occasion on March 2.
Novak said she would not deny that she had had fat injections in her face. "They seemed far less invasive than a face-lift," she wrote.
"In my opinion, a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better." She contrasted the negative reaction in the US to that when she was honoured at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
"I received an overwhelming standing ovation. Yet, in Hollywood, after the Oscars, I was bullied by the press and the public on the Internet and TV," she wrote.