Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About ‘Embarrassing And Dumb’ 2013 Arrest

by : Cameron Frew on : 19 Apr 2020 11:41
Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About 'Embarrassing And Dumb' 2013 ArrestReese Witherspoon Opens Up About 'Embarrassing And Dumb' 2013 ArrestPA Images/City of Atlanta Department of Corrections

Reese Witherspoon has candidly looked back at the 2013 incident in which she was arrested and briefly jailed. 

The Big Little Lies star and her husband, Jim Toth, were both arrested after their car was pulled over in Atlanta, Georgia, on suspicion of driving under the influence.


While Toth was eventually handed a DUI charge for driving in the wrong lane, Witherspoon was infamously arrested for disorderly conduct after ignoring police officers’ orders and exiting the vehicle. ‘I did something really stupid,’ she said.

Reese Witherspoon Jim TothReese Witherspoon Jim TothPA Images

Witherspoon appeared on a podcast episode of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil on Thursday, April 16, opening up about the arrest without any sugar-coated excuses.

The Legally Blonde star said: 


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. 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.

But I did something really stupid. Talent doesn’t make you a good person. But a big value in my family was: ‘Are you a good person?’

The aftermath of the April 2013 arrest saw videos emerge online of Witherspoon’s altercation with the on-duty officer, which inevitably spread quickly across news outlets. Almost immediately after the incident, the Oscar-winning actress released a statement – obtained by People – apologising for her behaviour.

The statement read: 


Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now. But I do want to say, I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said.

It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. The words I used that night definitely do not reflect who I am. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behaviour.

Jamil praised Witherspoon for how she handled the arrest in the public eye, saying: ‘You apologised and shamed yourself in a way that was so f*cking refreshing to me. I loved your apology.’

The actor pleaded no contest to her disorderly conduct and paid a $213 fine. Toth similarly pleaded guilty to his DUI charge and was subsequently ordered to carry out 40 hours of community service as well participating in an alcohol education program.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Arrest, Film


I Weigh with Jameela Jamil and 1 other
  1. I Weigh with Jameela Jamil

    Reese Witherspoon

  2. People

    Reese Witherspoon Looks Back at Her 2013 Arrest: 'It Was So Embarrassing and Dumb'