Kim Novak

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Nearly two months after the 86th Annual Academy Awards aired, Kim Novak is breaking her silence.

The actress was subjected to numerous online insults after she co-presented with Matthew McConaughey. Donald Trump, for example, tweeted that Novak should "sue her plastic surgeon." Numerous non-famous critics noted how unnaturally smooth-faced the Vertigo star looked on stage.

Novak, 81, shared her side of the story in an open letter published via Facebook Thursday. "It's time to address the elephant in the room...the Oscars," she wrote. "I was very excited when I was asked to be a presenter on the show. I was excited, yet nervous. 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."

"After my appearance on the Oscars this year, I read all the jabs. I know what Donald Trump and others said, and I'm not going to deny that I had fat injections in my face," Novak admitted. "They seemed far less invasive than a face-lift. It was done in 2012 for the TCM interview special. In my opinion, a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better."

"When I was honored 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. The only difference that night was that I had taken a pill to relax—that I shouldn't have taken. I had been fasting for three days and it affected my behavior. I regret taking it," the Oregon resident said.

"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 harbor unhealthy feelings inside me anymore," she wrote. "One of the reasons I enjoy exercising and painting so much is that I can let out my frustrations and reactions to what's happening in the world around me by working it out in a healthy way. It helps me, and doesn't hurt anything or anybody. People need to get these things out of their systems and stand up to bullying. I believe there would be less suffering and violence, too!"

Novak said the vitriol was unbearable, per People. "It really did throw me into a tailspin and it hit me hard," she said. "For days, I didn't leave the house, and it got to me like it gets kids and teenagers."

The actress, who said she takes medication for her disorder, was taken aback by the criticism. "I thought, 'Perhaps Hollywood is ready to receive me in a different way,'" she said of attending the Oscars. "I was just not prepared for such a negative reaction and it just caught me off guard."

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