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Kerry Washington Says Her Life Was Toxic Before "Scandal"

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Kerry Washington is radically tight-lipped about her personal life. She didn’t tell us when she got married. She didn’t tell us when she was expecting her first child. Hell, her baby girl just turned two and we have yet to see her. The actress’ life beyond the big and small screens has been off limits to the public for quite some time now; however, in a rare discussion for Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sessions,” the wife and mom decided to open up.

According to the 39-year-old, prior to accepting her role on “Scandal,” she wasn’t the well-put-together woman you see before you today.

“There was a period before ‘Scandal’ when I went into the wilderness. And, for me, what that meant was there was a lot of toxicity in my life — people I needed to let go of in a personal way, in a business way. And, also, I felt like I had been living my career kind of on auto-pilot.”

To gain some perspective, Washington says that she stepped back from the spotlight and accepted a role in a Broadway play. Her decision came with its own set of challenges, but in the end, she believes that it was all for the best.

“I took a break and did a Broadway play. I went back to my roots as an artist. Now, doing Broadway isn’t going to make you rich. I actually think that it cost me money to do Broadway. But it was my return to my artistic essence—a conversation between audience and artist,” she explained. “I let go of a lot of people and a lot of things. I experienced a lot of loss, professionally. I had, for example, companies that I was working with on an endorsement level that walked away from me because … not everybody thinks Broadway is ‘sexy.’”

She continued:

“Going into the wilderness’ really meant stripping myself of a lot of unnecessary weight in my life. The ritual of doing theater, I thought of it as going into a monastery, because you do the same thing eight times a week, in the same place, you say the same words with the same props. It is a ritual that you commit to. I just wanted to, in a monk-like way, commit to that ritual and let it teach me about myself and let myself unfold.”

During this period, Washington shared that many things changed in her private life as well.

“My personal life changed a great deal,” said the actress, who is reportedly expecting her second child. “I allowed myself to be open to change… I don’t talk about my personal life very often, but that’s true.”

She concluded by saying that taking this break prepared her for “Scandal.”

“Going into the wilderness made me ready — as an artist, as a person, as a businesswoman — to receive ‘Scandal.'”

Watch a clip from Kerry’s interview below.

H/t Huffington Post

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