ENTERTAINMENT
10/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Meg Ryan: 'Scarlet Woman' Label During Crowe Affair Freed Her

Meg Ryan says going from being "America's sweetheart" to the "scarlet woman" was painful but liberating.

The 46-year-old actress, who can currently be seen on screen in The Women, opens up in the October issue of In Style about her affair with Proof of Life costar Russell Crowe and problems she was having with then-husband Quaid, which led to their divorce.

"Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful," she says, adding, "I am not a victim. I was there. I was in that marriage for a really long time."

"It was also incredibly liberating," she tells the magazine of the public split. "Now I was utterly free. I didn't have to care about what people thought. I have gotten to do what I guess I secretly wanted to do. Be totally under the radar and live my life."

Read more on People