In the annals of Hollywood disorderly conduct, Reese Witherspoon’s arrest Friday in Atlanta doesn’t come near the anti-Semitic abuse that Mel Gibson showered on law enforcement when he was stopped for driving under the influence in 2006.
Still, Witherspoon’s protestations when her husband, talent agent James Toth, was pulled over for erratic driving and was performing a field sobriety test confirms some of the worst stereotypes about people of privilege.
Don’t Toth and Witherspoon know that in the U.S. in 2010 (the last year for which data is available), more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes -- one every 51 minutes?
“Do you know my name?” the Atlanta Journal Constitution said Witherspoon told a police officer. When he responded that he did not, she reportedly replied, “You’re about to find out who I am.”
The “Legally Blonde” star added this threat: "You are going to be on national news,” to which the police officer said that was fine. Witherspoon, whose independent film “Mud” opens in limited release on Friday, was arrested for disorderly conduct. Toth was arrested for driving under the influence. The couple are due in court in late May.
On Sunday, Witherspoon issued a statement that said in part: “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 was 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.”
What do you think of Witherspoon’s behavior?
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