Anyone who is a fan of Reese Witherspoon was probably shocked this weekend to see an actual Reese mugshot make the news. The blonde actress, one of the few who has never made a ripple of trouble, was arrested for not following a police officer's orders as her husband was being administered a DUI test. Both were subsequently arrested: Reese for disorderly conduct and her husband, Jim Toth, for drunk driving. The truly surprising thing about this encounter was the attitude that Reese displayed during the incident, using the old "Don't you know who I am?" type of argument celebrities use to wriggle out of trouble. More what you'd expect of Lindsay Lohan, not the squeaky clean Reese. But Reese has womaned up and apologized -- and actually admitted to all of her backtalk to the cop. And can you guess what she's blaming her behavior on?
Booze. Reese blames it on the hooch. She released a statement that said:
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.
It's hard to feel bad for Reese or her husband. Both are wealthy and powerful enough to have someone drive them home. In fact, my guess is that since Reese is filming the movie The Good Lie in Atlanta, where the incident happened, she has a car and driver at her service. So there's just absolutely no excuse for her husband to be drunk while driving.
On the other hand, at least Reese isn't denying the police officer's account, nor is she blaming it on post-traumatic filming disorder or exhaustion or something. She's forthrightly admitting that she had too much to drink and shot her mouth off when she shouldn't have. A lot of us have done the same. Reese is human. And I imagine that she's so accustomed to people kowtowing to her all day long that she's probably simply forgotten that, to a cop, she's nobody but a loud mouth interfering with him keeping the streets safe from drunk drivers. I feel like we should cut her some slack. Not that she shouldn't be punished, and she will if the law allows. But the public and press don't need to demonize her any further.
Now I just hope that these sentiments truly were those of Reese, and not just of her publicist. Additionally, she might think of meeting with victims of drunk drivers and/or their families so that she can truly appreciate the horrific impact that drunk driving has on so many lives.
Do you think Reese should be forgiven?
Image via The Guise Archives/Flickr