Entertainment & Arts

Kim Novak speaks out over Oscar ceremony jibes

Kim Novak and Matthew McCaughey Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kim Novak presented an award alongside Matthew McConaughey

Vertigo actress Kim Novak has called the treatment she received following her Oscars appearance "bullying".

Following her presenting stint at the Academy Awards, the 81-year-old was subjected to jibes about her looks, including a tweet from Donald Trump.

"I will no longer hold myself back from speaking out against bullies. We can't let people get away with affecting our lives," she wrote in an open letter.

She admitted she had "fat injections" in her face.

"In my opinion, a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better," she wrote in a Facebook post.

But she added: "We need to stand up to them (bullies) 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."

She told the Associated Press that she did not leave her house for days after the ceremony, and the criticism she received "really did throw me into a tailspin and it hit me hard".

She was also critical of the comments made about actress Liza Minnelli during the ceremony, when host Ellen DeGeneres jokingly mistook her for a male impersonator.

'Overwhelming standing ovation'

Novak blamed her halting speech during the ceremony on taking medication to "relax", which she regretted.

She said she had walked away from the Hollywood industry many years ago because of the immense pressure it had placed on her, but felt ready to return to the spotlight.

"When I was honoured at the Cannes Film Festival last year, I received an overwhelming standing ovation," she wrote.

"Yet, in Hollywood, after the Oscars, I was bullied by the press and the public on the internet and TV."

She said she felt the time was right to "address the elephant in the room" publically for the first time after appearing at a film festival and speaking about it openly.

"I realised that I had to stand up not only for myself but for other people that don't have the courage to do so,'' Novak said. "I feel like I have a mission.''

More on this story