I really like all of the discussion about how Reese Witherspoon can attempt to “come back” from her arrest and image crisis disaster. LaineyGossip suggested that Reese would be smart to give People Magazine a series of exclusives to reinforce her “down-home church-going soccer mom” image, and I’m sure those are coming. I think Reese’s damage control has already begun as soon as a “source” told People (on Monday afternoon) that Jim Toth might end up in rehab. But what’s missing from the discussion is a first-hand account (not just the police report) of just HOW drunk and rednecky Reese was during her debauched Georgia night. Thankfully, People Magazine is also accepting stories from the Atlanta police:
It’s certainly not from a red carpet. Still, Reese Witherspoon’s booking photo with her eyes cast down has to be among the more unusual celebrity mugshots.
“She was wobbly,” explains a police source within the Atlanta Department of Corrections. “She didn’t need help walking, but she wasn’t at a point where we could get a really clear picture.”
The actress and husband Jim Toth were arrested early Friday morning after he was pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Atlanta. In her apology for her behavior, she said she “clearly had one drink too many.”
According to the source, police took more than one photograph and chose the best one.
“On another picture, she sort of bent down at the waist and we got the top of her head,” says the source. “She wasn’t being difficult or rude, but her motor skills weren’t what they needed to be.”
The unorthodox picture has the Atlanta police and legal communities talking – and wondering if Witherspoon got preferential treatment.
“You can’t look down in the photograph,” says Atlanta criminal defense attorney Peter Odom. “The whole point of a mugshot is for identification purposes. To my knowledge, there is no exception to this rule. When someone is in custody, there isn’t a lot of personal space. They will grab your head and move it into the right position to get the right mugshot. But in this case, protocol was definitely not followed.”
The charges against Witherspoon were minor, says the source, so there was no need to force the issue and make the star stare dead ahead.
“This isn’t a big case and there’s not much more investigation that has to be done,” says the source, “so getting a clear picture of the suspect looking at the camera wasn’t absolutely necessary.”
Am I the only one who finds this kind of story fascinating? Like, Reese is drunkenly slurring out “Do you know who I am?!” and she’s so wasted she can’t even stand up for her mugshot? But I also agree that this isn’t a situation where she got “preferential treatment”. It’s not like she killed someone (although her husband could have). She was just a drunk, mouthy redneck. It’s not a capital crime. That being said, TMZ got their hands on Reese-in-handcuffs at the police station, and I can’t say that she seemed super-blitzed in this video:
See? She just seems “loose”. Wouldn’t it be even worse for Reese if she wasn’t actually that drunk at the time of her arrest? That would mean she had more control over herself when she hung out of the window and screamed “I am a US citizen, I am allowed to stand on American ground!”
Meanwhile, there’s another image-control effort being undertaken by Reese’s friend/drinking buddy Chelsea Handler: Handler has decided that Reese’s situation is no biggie.
Is all the fuss over Reese Witherspoon’s recent arrest much ado about nothing? Chelsea Handler certainly seems to think so. Asked about her A-list pal at the annual E! Network upfronts in New York City on Monday, April 22, the late-night host (who was arrested herself at age 21 for DUI) said that Witherspoon was dealing well with the fallout from her minor run-in with the law.
“She’s doing fine. She’s doing fine, you know?” Handler told Entertainment Tonight of the Mud actress, who was arrested on Friday, April 19, in Atlanta, Ga. “She was just trying to protect her husband, so…I mean everybody makes mistakes, so it’s not a big deal.”
Yes, Chelsea Handler is the voice of reason, of calm, contemplative compassion and turning the other cheek. Unless it’s Angelina Jolie. And I really don’t get this whole “she was just trying to protect her husband” thing. Reese referenced that in her original apology too: “It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband…” Is Jim Toth a fluffy little bunny who can’t function without his wife redneck-smacking all of his enemies? I guess I understand where Chelsea is coming from though – she’s with CAA too. They must be on high-alert over there.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.