Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Her Infamous 2013 Arrest: ‘It Was So Embarrassing and Dumb’

Reese Witherspoon is a widely celebrated actress whose career spans over two decades. But her career hasn’t been blemish-free. One of the darker moments came in April 2013 when Witherspoon was arrested for disorderly conduct after absolutely losing it on a police officer. Speaking about the ordeal in a new interview, Witherspoon shared how ashamed she came to feel and the one good thing that came out of it.

Reese Witherspoon on the red carpet at an award show in January 2020
Reese Witherspoon on the red carpet at an award show in January 2020 | Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for Turner

Looking back at Reese Witherspoon’s 2013 arrest

Witherspoon was driving in Atlanta with her husband, Jim Toth, when he was pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, per People. After Toth was placed under arrest, Witherspoon sprang from the car and confronted the officer.

She was instructed to return to their vehicle but instead continued to berate the officer, telling him she had the right to ask whatever she wanted before pulling the do-you-know-who-I-am card. After a brief back-and-forth, Witherspoon was placed in handcuffs and put into the back of a squad car for “obstruction.”

Reese Witherspoon and her husband avoided serious time

Speaking about the arrest in a 2013 interview with Good Morning America, Witherspoon admitted that she and Toth had “one too many glasses of wine” at a dinner and didn’t realize they weren’t OK to drive home. She also acknowledged that she was totally disrespectful and had said “all kinds of crazy things” to the officer, including that she was pregnant.

“I saw him arresting my husband and I literally panicked,” Witherspoon explained.” “I told him I was pregnant. I’m not pregnant. I said all kinds of crazy things.”

“It’s just completely unacceptable and we are so sorry and embarrassed,” the Sweet Home Alabama star continued. “I think we made a mistake and it was something that will absolutely never happen again.”

Fortunately for them, they were able to get off with a slap on the wrist. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Witherspoon was fined $213 while Toth was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and attend an alcohol education program. He was also put on probation for a year.

Reese Witherspoon’s latest comments about her arrest

In April, Witherspoon spoke with Jameela Jamil for her podcast, I Weigh, where Jamil praised the actress for the way she apologized.

“You apologized and shamed yourself in a way that was so f*cking refreshing to me,” Jamil said (via People). 

“But I did something really stupid,” Witherspoon replied.

Although she is ashamed of the arrest and thinks it was “so embarrassing and dumb,” Witherspoon told Jamil that it turned out to be a learning moment for the world.

“But, you know what — [it] turns out I breathe air. I bleed the same way. I make dumb decisions. I make great decisions. I’m just a human being,” she continued. “We’re all just the same as each other and we’re all trying to find what our special skills are. My special skill is storytelling but that doesn’t mean I’m a special person.”

True that, Reese.

It’s common to think that celebrities are so different from us regular folks. But there are moments like these that remind us that we really are all just people at the end of the day.