Kerry Washington says relationship with Shonda Rhimes has been life-changing

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

As part of a new empowerment campaign encouraging women to see each other as more than competitors, some of our favorite stars are speaking out about women who helped them along the way.

For “Scandal” superstar Kerry Washington, there is one person she credits with sparking her incredible success. In a video for the campaign called “#LeanInTogether: Together Women Can,” the actress gets vulnerable and candid.

–Kerry Washington addresses Photoshopped ‘Adweek’ cover perfectly

“I’m going to try to say this without getting really emotional,” says Washington. “But I’m not really sure what my life would look like if it were not for Shonda Rhimes.”

With hit shows like “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” Rhimes owns an entire night of network television. The showrunner has been applauded for creating more dynamic female characters and providing leading opportunities for actors of color, like Washington.

“She’s just so honest and so generous and so supportive,” Washington said of her boss in an interview with AOL Build.

–Kerry Washington wants Beyoncé on ‘Scandal’

The #LeanInTogether campaign is made up of a diverse group of women, including writer Lena Dunham, actress Eva Longoria and superstar tennis player Serena Williams.

In the video, Williams names her sister Venus as her inspiration to shatter records in the game of the tennis.

“We’re all on the same team,” Williams says.

“So many women are lending their voices to this campaign because they have benefited firsthand from the support of other women and know what a difference it can make,” said Sheryl Sandberg, founder and Facebook COO. “When women work together, we accomplish amazing things.”

–Tennis CEO says female pros ‘ride coattails’ of men’s game, Serena Williams responds