Minnie Driver confronted her childhood bully at a party.

The 40-year-old actress - who was bullied for five years from the age of nine - spotted her former tormentor at a gathering when they were both adults and decided to question her about her behaviour even though she was still terrified.

Admitting she had to steel her nerves with some alcohol beforehand, Minnie said: "She was there with her husband and her kids and I got the same kind of chilled fear in my stomach when I saw her. and after a couple of drinks I went over to her and I was like, 'Can I just ask you, you remember everything that went on, right? The systematic and repeated bullying that you inflicted on me.' Her face went white and she looked like she was going to throw up or burst into tears, and I said, 'Why did you do it?'

The 'Good Will Hunting' actress' former classmate then admitted she behaved badly because she had been jealous of Minnie's bubbly personality.

Appearing on Ellen Degeneres' talk show, Minnie added: "She said, 'It was my identity. I was frightened of who you were - creative and loud and sort of gregarious - and my identity became stopping that and shutting that down in you because it was shut down In Me.'

"That minute, I realised that she was, in a way, as damaged by what she'd done as I had felt damaged myself. It was an interesting and good moment, but I don't think everybody has that opportunity to face their aggressor later on."

But Minnie - who applauded Ellen's anti-bullying campaign following a number of lesbian and gay related suicides In America this year - did confess she had to use violence to stop her tormentor at the age of 14.

She said: "It wasn't until I finally realised that I could fight back and I literally smacked her, that it never happened again."