Screen legend Kim Novak didn't leave her house for days after being the target of cruel online bullying during her appearance at the 2014 Academy Awards last month.
"It really did throw me into a tailspin and it hit me hard," Novak, 81, told the AP. "For days, I didn't leave the house, and it got to me like it gets kids and teenagers [who are bullied]."
Kim was slammed for allegedly going overboard with plastic surgery while presenting the Oscar for best animated feature to Disney's Frozen.
One person wrote on Twitter, "Kim Novak announced 'Frozen' while her face was Frozen." Another chimed in, "Kim Novak was just safely transported back to the Hollywood Wax Museum." Even Donald Trump got in on the act, tweeting that Novak should "sue her plastic surgeon."
'I Got Fat Injections On My Face, So What?'
Novak took to her Facebook page to condemn the cruel jabs, writing: "I know what Donald Trump and others said, and I’m not going to deny that I had fat injections in my face. They seemed far less invasive than a face-lift. In my opinion, a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better."
After staying silent for a month, Novak said she decided to speak out to put an end to bullying, which can cause permanent emotional damage. "We can’t let people get away with affecting our lives," wrote Novak.
"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 harbor unhealthy feelings inside me anymore."
A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry confirmed that the psychological effects of childhood bullying can last an entire lifetime. Researchers found those bullied in childhood had more health and emotional problems, and poor social functioning all their lives, compared to kids who had not been bullied.
'I'm Bipolar and Suffer from Depression'
Novak, who starred in "Vertigo," "Pal Joey," and "Picnic," did appear puffy in her face, but no more than most Hollywood celebrities do. The snarky Twitter jabs on Oscar night seemed especially disrespectful given her age and her past as a survivor of breast cancer and bipolar disorder.
"I'm bipolar, but there's medicine you can take for this now," said Novak. "I was not diagnosed until much later. I go through more of the depression than the mania part."
Since retiring from film work in 1965, Novak has led a quiet life in Oregon with her veterinarian husband Robert Malloy, painting and tending to her menagerie of animals.