Reese Witherspoon returns to her children in LA: ‘Her kids are everything to her’

Reese Witherspoon was photographed yesterday. We don’t have the photos – you can see them here. I guess she knew there were cameras and she made sure to smile her big Southern-girl smile. “Who me? I would never play the ‘do you know who I am?’ card!” What I find interesting isn’t that Reese and Jim have returned to LA after a liquor-soaked trip to Georgia that ended in dual arrests. No, what I find interesting is that Reese is only now “reuniting” with her kids…? So, were Ava and Deacon with their dad this whole time? And where was baby Tennessee James? Luckily, People Magazine has a rosy, sympathetic story to go along with Reese’s return:

Reese Witherspoon is getting back to life as usual.

“She is happy to be home with her kids again,” a source says of the actress, 37, who returned to L.A. on Monday after her April 19 arrest in Atlanta for disorderly conduct and her husband Jim Toth’s DUI arrest the same night.

Her older children, 13-year-old Ava and 9-year-old Deacon, had been staying with their father, actor Ryan Phillippe, while Witherspoon was on location in Atlanta shooting the drama The Good Lie.

“She didn’t feel good about being away from them after the news of her arrest broke,” says the source. “Her kids are everything to her.” As PEOPLE reports in this week’s issue, a worried Witherspoon called her kids to tell them what had happened after the arrests. Another source close to Witherspoon says she remains “mortified” by the incident, and several who know her well say they are surprised she let the situation get so out of hand.

“She’s a fun girl who likes to have a good time and let loose every now and then,” says another source. “What’s shocking is she didn’t rein it in enough to keep herself out of trouble. It was a really bad decision on both their parts and trust me, they’re evaluating that and they will make damn sure it doesn’t happen again.”

As for Toth, 42, the high-powered CAA talent agent is widely known as “a big social drinker,” as an insider tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

But the couple, who are parents to 7-month-old son Tennessee, “are seen as very solid,” says an industry insider. “They’re very well-liked.”

On Wednesday, Witherspoon sipped water with her salad at a business lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel, while Toth returned to work at CAA. The pair are due to appear in court on May 22 in Atlanta, where a typical plea deal in a DUI case such as Toth’s would involve fines, 40 hours of community service and 12 months of probation, says Ben Alper, an Atlanta criminal defense attorney who is not affiliated with the case.

Witherspoon, who has wrapped the Atlanta portion of The Good Lie, would most likely face community service and a small fine, says Alper. She has already issued an apology, admitting, “I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said” to officers.

[From People]

I didn’t even think of what kind of punishment would be handed down in Georgia. I’m so used to California Justice, also known as “Fun Times Party #YOLO” where you can drive drunk and smash into babies and the judge will give you a friendly pat on the firecrotch for your trouble. Georgia is a lot different. There will be some consequences. Admittedly, they won’t involve jail, but it will be interesting to see what happens there.

I like how the “sources” are framing and re-framing the issue. Reese is just a good girl! She just got a little bit drunk! She’s so embarrassed! She won’t ever mess up again! She’s such a good mom! You know what I wonder? I wonder what Ryan Phillippe told Deacon and Ava about their mom’s arrest. And what I’m getting from the People Mag article is that Tennessee James was in Georgia with his parents and they still went out drinkin’ and drivin’ and hollerin’ at cops. Interesting.

As for the tabloids… let’s see. Star Magazine’s sources say Ryan was the one to explain everything to Ava and that he assured her that “mommy will be fine.” Their sources also say that Reese initially thought Jim’s drinking was cute, but she’s grown irritated by his three-martini lunches. And when Reese drinks, “she’s an angry drunk… she’s very nasty and uptight – not very sweet at all.” The Enquirer has a story about Reese boozin’ it up because her parents’ divorce situation is full of drama, but that story bored me.

Here are some photos of Jim Toth on Wednesday in LA:

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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64 Responses to “Reese Witherspoon returns to her children in LA: ‘Her kids are everything to her’”

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  1. bowers says:

    I imagine she would be devastated if a drunk driver hit them. Drunk driving is horrible.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    I guess the kids ‘know who she is!!”
    ugh..the fact that she used that shitty line makes me wanna smack her face

  3. brin says:

    Hope this is a wake-up call for both of them.

  4. Suze says:

    Of course her children are EVERYTHING TO HER.

    She is not some garden-variety drop-face drunk, people. She is a HOLLYWOOD MOTHER.

    Take your medicine, Reece. You screwed up. Then shut up.

  5. Gossip Garl says:

    The drinking crumbling Cookie parentz.And now all comes out….Popcorn, lets sit back & ENJOY!

  6. lucky says:

    This is EXACTLY what Lainey said was going to happen. (No disrespect, Kaiser. Maybe you guys said it, too? It’s just that Lainey has very few interesting posts- when I read them, they are easy to remember.)

    • Eve says:

      Lainey annoys me a great deal with some of her posts, but sometimes the woman is dead on. She’s been hitting the nail on the head in every single one of her posts about Witherspoon.

      • Mom2two says:

        Yes, I have been enjoying Lainey’s posts on Reese. She has been on the mark with everything she has said on the subject. I don’t doubt for a minute that Reese is a good mother and she is going to use that in her PR to get back in America’s good graces.
        However, I have to side eye anyone who is friends with Chelsea Handler.

      • Anna says:

        @Mom2two -

        Side-eye or no side-eye, hanging w/CH was just poor decision-making on Reese’s and her PR people’s part, from the crisis-management standpoint. Right now, having exposed herself so badly, she cannot afford any missteps. Maybe Reese and CH are besties in RL, but she and her people must know about Chelsea’s reputation as a bad-girl booze-hound, and should have avoided any public association for the foreseeable future.

      • pwal says:

        While I think the PR spin distancing Reese from her husband is repellant, I think that distancing herself from CH, while smart, will still rub people the wrong way. Reese is supposed to be an adult; in theory, she should know who is a good friend or not. For some reason, she decided to ‘be friends’ with Handler. And while I can’t stand Handler and her bizarro sense of what’s a poor decision and who is inherently good and evil, Handler isn’t responsible for Reese’s behavior. She would have a hand in it if she was with them, but ultimately, Reese and Toth have more responsibilities, namely being parents. They should’ve looked out for their kids, and as parents, they should’ve looked out for others, like parents, grandparents, or teenagers mere years older than Ava who could’ve been driving down that road.

        Hey… if later on, Reese decides that Handler is an insufferable b*tch and ditches her, then cool. Or just before this whole situation… again, cool. But throwing someone under the bus just to ease the scrutiny of lackluster behavior would be a very Handler thing to do and would reveal even more about Reese’s real character.

      • Anna says:

        @pwal –

        I agree with basically everything you’re saying. I do think you misunderstood my comment somewhat though.

        Yes, the responsibility is all on Reese – especially for anything drinking & driving related. But I am just talking about her image rehab here. And for that, she didnt have to actually do anything to publicly distance herself from CH, or throw CH under the bus in any way. Nobody would even be talking about her friendship with CH right now except that…

        …a day after getting into very public trouble related to drinking and partying, Reese goes out (allegedly not drinking) partying with one of the most notorious girl drinkers in Hollywood.

        Now, personally, I don’t care if she killed a bottle of Pinot with CH while at home on the couch as soon as she got in from jail. Private business. But a public appearance of this kind? That’s just plain sloppy exactly BECAUSE she’s willing to throw her hubby under the bus in an effort to fix her PR problem. Amateur hour.

    • jwoolman says:

      Don’t know why people are trashing Chelsea Handler in this connection. She’s very vocal about using drivers if you’re going to be drinking. She doesn’t let her friends drive tipsy, they either stay over or she calls a cab or other arrangement. She doesn’t drive when she’s drinking, and contrary to myth she doesn’t drink all the time. If Handler had been with these two in Georgia, the whole thing never would have happened. Handler would have planned for a driver in advance and would be tough enough to grab their car keys and push them into a cab…

      • Ms.Smurf says:

        If I’m not mistaken, Handler has a DUI as well….and whether or not she is careful about letting her friends drink and drive, she publically said in a quote that the fact that Reese and her husband were caught drinking and driving wasn’t a big deal and everyone makes mistakes is not something I want to hear.

        That’s not a mistake. It’s not like the couple was in their early twenties and misjudged how much they had to drink (which isn’t good either), they’re grown adults who know their limits and are rich enough to afford a driver….they didn’t do that. Plus, she disrespected the police and then tried to cover it up with some bs excuse as to how she was scared…wasn’t scared enough to get behind the wheel w/a drunk driver, driving on the wrong lane.

      • Leen says:

        I know there has been a lot fo argument on semantics the last few days (and one during the Mini Coopering of K-Stew) but using the word ‘mistake’ is appropriate because it doesn’t only mean ‘oops accident’ but also when you make choices that were wrong or misjudged.

      • MisJes says:

        Ms.Smurf, not that I am defending the actions of anybody who has driven under the influence – but I just wanted to point out (given that you noted that it’s not like Reese and Jim are a young couple) that Chelsea received her DUI in her very early twenties, not last week.

  7. Leah says:

    Seriously. cannot. stand. her.

  8. Faye says:

    I know I’m breaking my vow to not comment on the Reese Redemption tour, but I just have to say this: Reese would do so much better to just be quiet. I think it’s pretty accepted that the People stories come from her camp, and it’s irksome. I don’t want to hear about how her husband has an alleged drinking problem and she’s concerned; I don’t want to hear about how allegedly “mortified” she is; I don’t want to hear about what a devoted mother she is, either. We all know they’re going to get off with some slap-on-the-wrist community service, if that, and go on with their lives. So just do that and go away. This constant barrage of stories trying to strenously convinced us what a good soul poor Reese actually is just makes it more annoying, IMO. Just back off.

    • Christin says:

      Exactly. I don’t want to hear that she’s drinking because doctor daddy and PhD mommy have had problems. I added the doctor and PhD references because that almost always shows up in descriptions of her parents. We must know who they are (sarcasm).

    • Jane says:

      And you can bet she will be “Good Blonde Reese” again soon, out with the kids and folks with forget the “Bad Brunette Reese” soon enough (it was the dark hair that made her get drunk as a skunk). Her apology tour is just starting and it is alreday annoying as hell.

      I just wish she would take her lumps instead of all of the People magaizne press releases to make her look “oh so sorry”. Oy vey.

      • Faye says:

        Yep. Probably tons of magazine articles instead of in-person interviews, since it will be easier to spin her words and avoid the hard questions there. Lots of fawning articles accompanied by flattering, soft-focus pictures of Reese frolicking in the fields, wearing flowing clothing . . .I can see it now.

    • Rhiley says:

      I agree 100%. Release the initial statement, shut up and ask those who are close to you to remain quiet. I bet Ryan Whateverhislastnameis was really stand up about the whole thing and probably didn’t throw Reese and hubs under the bus. I kind of don’t like Ryan but I think he is probably a good father as I think Reese is probably a very good mom. And this is what bothers me about the whole arrest. As a celebrity arrest it really isn’t that big of a deal. There are many celebrities who have done and have gotten away with much worse. However, I am more or less Reese’s age, I have a respectable job, and I try to be active in my community. I don’t have 3 kids, but if I were to get arrested like that, my world would be upside down and it would be quiet hard for me to put it back together. Her husband is starting to sound more and more like an alcoholic and maybe Reese is getting caught up in some of that. A 37 year old mom of 3 really shouldn’t be putting herself in danger like Reese did and should not be gettin arrested. I do think it is kind of funny just because Reese tries to act so southern apple pie, but there is also something kind of disturbing about the whole thing and until she can figure out how to comment about what has happened she would be wise to lie low. As cute as I think her kids are, I hope she doesn’t start pimping them out every day, like some celebrity parents do when they are surrounded by bad press.

      • holly hobby says:

        Ryan got sort of a bum rap during the divorce because of his douche vibe. However, I can really see that Reese is probably the worse of the two.

        I can’t say someone is bad if he is willing to play an active parent role for a child that was conceived when he was briefly dating the mother (I think he knocked someone up and he pretty much was there during the delivery etc.).

  9. Mia 4S says:

    Ah yes, play the mommy card! That train’s never late! Newsflash, motherhood does not make you a good person.

  10. Ryan says:

    Her kids are everything to her. And booze.

  11. Renee says:

    ‘Her kids are everything to her’ my a$$.

    I hope the sitter watching Tennessee was booked to stay overnight. If these two were as drunk as we are led to believe, neither would be capable of looking after the little kid if there was an emergency.


  12. JL says:

    She didn’t feel good leaving her kids.
    It’s not the 1st time she’s filmed and left them.

    She just let loose.
    Ok, we all let loose on occasion, we don’t all drive down the wrong side of the road.

    She’s really sorry, I bet she is. She was drunk and belligerent and got busted. It’s the busted part she’s sorry for not the drunk.

    As for Georgia, no Georgia is not California (I grew up in Ga) and they won’t care who she is or what she has “going, you do the crime you do the time. Pulling the “Do you know who I am
    ” card is not going to sit well.

  13. JennJ says:

    Each excuse and publicity play makes me lose more respect for her.

    This one really disgusts me. So you love your children, but not enough to stay safe. And what about all of the other children out there who could have been killed or lost loved ones because of your decision to let your husband drive drunk?

    The proper response is “I am horrified by our actions. It was a wake up call. We are truly sorry.”

    There is nothing else to say.

  14. JenD says:

    I like that the article pointed out she had a glass of water with her salad. Like she’d have a glass of wine with all the bad publicity right now.

    The 1st DUI punishment isn’t that harsh – a fine and community service, generally, so I’d hope he would just accept it and not try to plead down to something less.

  15. Sumodo1 says:

    It makes you think how Anne Hathaway would have played the same scenario, if she and HER husband were in the same situation. (*ducks and hides*)

  16. Jayna says:

    How is she tired of his drinking? She was more trashed than him. They were out partying and had too much to drink and made a horrible decision to drink and drive when they have drivers at their disposal with ther money. That’s the wakeup call that needs to be addressed by them, the decison to be drunk in the car in this day and age when everyone is so much more aware of the ramifcations of drunk driving to the point you’re weaving on the road.

    I don’t care that they were out for the evenng drinking having a great time. It’s none of my business. It’s just that they at their age didn’t hire a driver for the night or when they realized they were impaired called for a car service and got their car the next day. The problem is many times when people are drunk they think they’re fine.

    She’s embarrassed pulling the star card (which is shocking) and harrassing the cop and, really, she should be. Some people are happy drunks and some people can go mean when things aren’t going their way. I imagine she is terribly embarrassed. She has two children old enough to hear about mommy arrested drunk, screaming at a cop. She’s a good mom and I’m sure more than anything trying to be a role model for her children ths is the part that she is most devastated by and also her public image tainted now as arrogant. All that needs to be said is she’s mortfied by her actions after having one too many out celebrating, whatever is the story. That they had had a great night out and clearly needed to have used a driver and are thankful they were stopped in hindsight as they shouldn’t have been on the road. End of story.

    • bluhare says:

      The first thing that goes out the window when you’re drunk is judgement. Not saying that’s an excuse for them, but where were they before they got in the car, and who let them knowing they were as drunk as they were? And if he was less drunk than she was that was no excuse to let him drive. But then, she probably threw out the “don’t you know who we are” card there, too.

      I’d say they both have drinking issues, not just him.

      • Emily says:

        At their age, they should have known to line up a designated driver/taxi before they had even one drink. What they did is not okay at any age, but Reese Witherspoon is 37 years old. That’s one year older than me. At our age, we KNOW this stuff. Except for the alcoholics.

      • Annmarie says:

        I totally agree. This is clearly a co-dependent kind of thing. She met him in a bar, and they ended up like this. Completely headless, with a baby waiting for them at the hotel, two kids at home, people on the street who could have got themselves killed. This is so reckless and then you have her all condescendent making a scene like this. Co-dependent is the word, and she’s drinking because she likes it and because she wants to accompany her husband.

  17. Diane says:

    PR nightmare = drag out the kids!

  18. pwal says:

    Yes, these planted stories are making matters worse for Reese, but to me, it’s making the talent agency look even worse. For me, CAA, with all of their machinations this week i.e. the spin on Reese’s arrest, the attempt to throw her husband/their employee under the bus, in service to Reese, wheeling out Handler to downplay this whole issue, plastering Paltrow all over the place under the guise that she actually earned the most beautiful woman in the world title… you know, there is something to the silence is golden adage. The agents are escalating the situation, much like Reese did, only their tone is more desperate than entitled.

    Let Toth’s case follow it’s natural course and if a punishment comes, let him serve it. No agency-dictated color commentary, please. The same goes for Reese, although she will likely get nothing except for a possible fine. If she gets that, take it – don’t parade the kids out as a distraction. Just take the freaking punishment when it comes.

    • Emily says:

      Yeah, they’re mishandling Goop horribly too. It’s not as bad as what they’re doing with Witherspoon, because I think with Witherspoon they’re actually enabling her drinking, but I’ve been wondering what Goop’s agency has been thinking. A little Goop goes a very long way, and she obviously hasn’t been properly coached. These are two of their big stars; if CAA’s mishandling them, what’s going on with the lesser people in their stable?

  19. Just Me says:

    If your kids are everything to you, then you should know better than to get into a car with a drunk driver and/or allow the father of your children to drive drunk. That’s not a judgy Mom thing, that’s an “are you stupid?” thing. She’s wealthy enough to afford a driver if they both want to partake. There is absolutely NO excuse. None.

  20. Quinn says:

    I guess this kills Goop’s claim that brunettes can fly under the radar. Bummer.

  21. Quinn says:

    I guess this kills Goop’s claim that brunettes can fly under the radar. :(

  22. One thing reese can not escape is that she just taiught her kids a lesson she did not want to. She has preteens who are going to be exposed to alcohol, drugs, and driving very soon and its your own actions that most influence their choices NOT your words and that will be the hardest thing she will have to try and repair.

  23. Tasha says:

    I see three possibles photo ops coming

    1) the family at church.

    2) Reese and Toth at Deacon soccer game

    3) Reese and kids out shopping.

    My guess is that the photo op will happen this weekend.

  24. Emily says:

    When you don’t like your husband’s drinking, you don’t get drunk with him.

    And her children mean everything to her? Okay, sure. Other people’s children can get squashed by her drunk-driving husband, she doesn’t care, because only her own babies matter. There are people like this, men and women both, and they are some of the most terrible people on this planet.

  25. Ms.Smurf says:

    *Empress Z sideeye*

    (my new superpower…I will be able to find out the truth and nothing but the truth, in all situations)

    I won’t ever be able to look at this woman the same way ever again….not that I was ever such a huge fan of hers, but I always had a soft spot for her, because of how many people said she didn’t deserve her Oscar.

    Her kids obviously don’t mean everything to her, if she acts like that. I’m not even as mad about the DUI and mouthing off, as to how she gave a kstew apology, went back to go drinking right after it in public, and with that smirk on her mugshot.

    I can guarantee her kids are going to be bringing this up in their late teens, and guess what? She won’t even be able to say how embarrassed she was over her husband (who knows how long they’ll stay together after this- I expect some Halle Berry tinged stories soon), and her actions. She wasn’t.

    This makes me wonder why Phillipe was cheating on her….now it’s not so cut and dry that it was simply because he was a douche…which he is. I can’t imagine her as the innocent party anymore. In any situation. Good job, Reese! People are going to doubt you about anything that happens in your life. Good job!

  26. Little Birdie says:

    Not Toth’s first DUI. Witherspoon has ALWAYS been a drinker. Just hides it well. Older kids were with Phillippe. They are always with him except when Witherspoon needs the mother photo op. Nanny was with new kid. There was third person in the car who is not being named. This is all damange control and trying to rebuild her reputation and brand.

    Don’t drink, drive and be disrespectful to law enforcement. They were doing their job and I Thank them for that.

  27. LAK says:

    How i miss the good old days of Hugh Grant’s apology tour. Just an Apology, let submit yourself to ribbing by Dave/Leno, don’t try to win public sympathy by excusing your behaviour in soft focus articles in People, and then take your punishment, whatever that turns out to be, and move on…..

  28. DGO says:

    Her kids have been looking unhappy lately, especially since the remarriage. Something tells me they are less than enamored with him.

  29. qisma says:

    Is it me or does Jim Toth look like a white version of Obama?

  30. Mian says:

    Aren’t everyone’s children everything to them?

    Celebrities always say this, but this goes for just about everyone out there.