Reese Witherspoon gives first post-arrest interview to GMA: did she seem contrite?

Reese Witherspoon gave her first post-arrest exclusive interview to Good Morning America today. So I guess we now know what path Reese is taking (which I laid out earlier this week): Reese is going to try to “come back” from her arrest immediately, she’s not going to wait a few months. This will probably be the start of Reese’s apology tour. Sort of. The real start was her public statement just after her arrest became public, and continued through last week with some strategic leaks to People Magazine. Now she’s got this GMA interview, and I would imagine there’s a People Magazine cover next week maybe. Or maybe Us Weekly, but probably People. Anyway, here’s Reese’s GMA interview, I’ll have quotes on the other side:

Looking contrite, humbled and wiser for what happened, Reese Witherspoon addressed her arrest two weeks ago at the top of her interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday – calling it “one of those nights.”

“We went out to a restaurant in Atlanta, and we had one too many glasses of wine,” the Oscar winner and mother of three, 34, said, referring to herself and her husband, agent Jim Toth. After their car, which Toth was driving, was stopped, he was charged with DUI, and she with disorderly conduct.

“We thought we were fine to drive,” she said, “and we were absolutely not, and we are so sorry and just so embarrassed.” She added, “We know better and we shouldn’t have done that.”

Blaming “poor judgment” for not simply calling a cab, Witherspoon said, “We made a mistake, and it was something that will absolutely never happen again.”

The police report noted that Witherspoon did not follow the officer’s orders and she got out of the car, and spoke in abusive language to him.

“I was so disrespectful to him,” the actress acknowledged on GMA. “I have police officers in my family. I work with police officers every day. I know better. It’s just unacceptable.” (Adding a note of levity, she also said, “I played a lawyer in a movie so many times I think I am a lawyer. And clearly I’m not a lawyer, because I got arrested.”)

She explained, “I have no idea what I was saying. That night I saw him arresting my husband, and I panicked. I said all kinds of crazy things. I said I was pregnant.” The actress flashed a look of amazement, then said, “I’m not pregnant. I said crazy things. I had no idea what I was talking about.”

Telling her older children about the very public incident, she said, was “the hardest part about it. When you make a mistake, you take responsibility, and we are taking responsibility, and we are doing everything within our power to make it right.”

Among the biggest lessons she learned, she said: “When a police officer tells you to stay in a car, you stay in a car.”

[From People]

Well, what do you think? I think she’s got the best talking points and argument she (and her PR team) could come up with. How many times did she say “panic” and “I don’t know”? She accepted responsibility, she talked about learning her lessons, she acknowledged that there’s no excuse. I came out of this thinking that she might have been blackout-drunk though, especially when she talks about not knowing what she was saying. No offense, but she’s pretty long in the tooth to be getting THAT drunk at what seems like just a night out in Georgia. Anyway, is she forgiven yet? This interview will help, I think.

Photos of Reese in Georgia earlier this week, courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

 

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101 Responses to “Reese Witherspoon gives first post-arrest interview to GMA: did she seem contrite?”

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  1. JenD says:

    I think it was contrite, and she actually accepted responsibility. The first “apology” she issued right after the incident was the complete opposite.

  2. Grace says:

    It won’t hurt. But I don’t think anyone will buy her ‘I’m just a wholesome Southern girl’ image anymore. Its kind of unfortunate – stars can spend who knows how much money to craft an image of themselves for the public to buy. Then, its gone in a split second and true colors emerge.

  3. aims says:

    I do think she took responsibility. My question is, does she believe what she’s saying. Is it all bs?

    • V4Real says:

      IMO she only took responsibility becasue she got caught; who knows how many times her husband has taken the wheel while intoxicated. Yes I know many of us (in general)have probably gotten behind the wheel after a few and it’s wrong. I’m just saying that I don’t believe she’s all that sincere. Like she stated she’s embarrased. She tried to sell us this nice, southern girl next door image and now she has tarnished it.

      We can now understand why most celebs like to keep their private life private. She showed us her true character and it makes me believe the rumors that she is an AList top grade bitch. There’s a reason why she’s friends with C. Handler.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I think it’s a bit of both, tbh. A lot of it did come off as BS (the whole “I played a lawyer” crap, for example) but when she said that she realizes that they made a big mistake, it comes off as more genuine.

      Mind you, I’ve heard rumours that she isn’t nearly as apple pie wholesome IRL, that she’s actually an uber-bitch, so who knows? It could all be PR spin and nothing more.

  4. Anners says:

    Forgiven, sure. But “do you know who I am” is an inflated sense of entitlement not easily forgotten.

  5. Tasha says:

    (Adding a note of levity, she also said, “I played a lawyer in a movie so many times I think I am a lawyer. And clearly I’m not a lawyer, because I got arrested.”)

    So lawyer dont get arrested? and playing a lawyer in a movie dose not make you one in real life.

    I still don’t see how someone who is truly sorry and embarrassed goes out drinking a day or two later that sounds like something Lindsay Lohan would do.

  6. Anna says:

    I will say this: props to her or her team for totally embracing the IT WAS ALL OUR FAULT narrative. I know she might not be the America’s Sweetheart in RL, but so many celebs in her role would be pulling the ‘I wasnt drunk, we’re wrongfully persecuted, I will sue the police department’ card.

    One mistake tho: “It will never happen again.” Oh honey, never say never, if you dont want it to ever bite you in the behind.

  7. Crackberry says:

    I used to love Reese but over the years it faded.
    I always knew she was a massive bitch.
    I think what ‘upsets’ people is how she makes money of being America’s Sweetheart when she’s actually just a complete bitch.

    I don’t believe this interview.
    Just like how she went to Georgia after the crisis.
    She’s a bitch. Just own it. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

    I can only imagine how Ryan Phillipe put up with her.

    • mssnarnd says:

      Crackberry – I like your style (agree with everything you wrote) ;-)

    • clutch says:

      Ryan Phillipe is quite the obnoxious ass. No way Reece tops him in the douchebag awards. I had the displeasure of listening to his Howard Stern interview – what a horrible humanbeing he is!

    • Cazzie says:

      LOL!

      To all the people saying, “Well she seemed so sorry and genuinely contrite” – that is called ACTING.

      She’s an actress! Her tens of millions of dollars a year career is at stake. Of course she seemed sorry! Please.

      If RW had to go on national television and genuinely insist that she was a space alien in order to salvage her career, she would do it and she would do it well.

      • Jary says:

        Of course she was totally out of line and made a BIG mistake interfering with the officer. But I thought she was cute. I respected that there was no cursing. I think she was totally STUNNED she was being arrested and wasn’t being allowed to speak. It wasnt til the very end that she pulled the stupid “do you know who I am and you will soon find out” comments. Despite these comments used as a last resort, overall it showed me that even when probably inebriated she was still more of a lady than most other over-privileged spoiled stars that are use to getting their way and people jumping when they say jump.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I think that was the best response she could do – she took responsibility, didn’t blame anyone else, and didn’t do the non-apology “sorry if you were offended” crap.
    They acted very, very stupidly, luckily no one was hurt and they’ll (hopefully) never make that bad decision again.

    • j.eyre says:

      I agree. I think she took enough responsibility on this one.

      As to whether she believes it, I am not sure I care about that. As long as she does not come out in 6 months or a year and recant everything she says, I am okay with her giving out her PRs statements. If she truly doesn’t believe it, she will do it all again and that will seal her fate. In the meantime, I want impressionable fans to her her say “I’m sorry and I made bad decision and this is on me.”

  9. Babalon says:

    Totally off-topic but I’m calling bullshit on the age 34 thing. Reese is 38 this year. Wouldn’t have expected her to become one of those ladies to start lying about her age.

    Then again, I wouldn’t have expected her to be one of those ladies pulling the, ‘do you know who I am?’ thing, either.

  10. goodquestion says:

    That really seemed like she was acting in a movie. I’ve never seen her in other interviews though, so maybe that’s Reese being “natural”.

  11. Merritt says:

    She acknowledged that they made a bad decision to drive after drinking and that she acted like a jackass. To me the important thing is they were pulled over before anyone got hurt. Hopefully that will be a wake up call.

  12. eileen says:

    Georgia doesn’t give two sh!ts who you are girlfriend! LOL!
    I got pulled over in Atlanta the SAME night she did for speeding and he let me go with a warning. First time I’d been pulled over in 11 years! Here-if you mess up and just own it, they can be cool about it. But if you act like she did-you’re toast no matter who you are. There are a lot of celebs that live here BECAUSE they are treated like everyone else. If you aren’t ok with that, go back to Hollywierd. :)

  13. Joy says:

    ONE too many glasses? Yeah more than one sweetie.

  14. Dawn says:

    I don’t think I really care about this story too much. They will pay the price and they were lucky that no one was hurt and from now on will take a cab or a limo I am sure!

  15. mel says:

    Her image has suffered for some time..I don’t think this will really have much affect..I mean what was her last successful movie? When you have actresses like Jennifer Lawrence on the move – you know she has to be nervous.

  16. Shelly says:

    She said all the right things and took responsibility. What else could she have said? People make mistakes, even big mistakes such as this. Given that she has no history of known public drunkenness and being arrested, what she said is good enough for me. She doesn’t need my forgiveness.

    • Jm says:

      THANK you! She does not owe us, the public, an apology. Sounds like she’s explained and apologized to the people who deserve it and that’s enough for me.

      And for the people saying, “Aha, I knew she was a biyatch in real life!” . . . don’t we ALL have that side of ourselves? I can be sweet as pie but, believe me, there’s a healthy dose of biyatch in me, as well. Isn’t that just human nature?! Besides, I just want my movie stars to do a good job up on the screen. I never, ever assume they are wonderful people off-camera.

      • Emily says:

        Uh, yeah, she does owe us, the public, an apology. She went drinking with her husband — okay. She got incredibly drunk in public — not really okay. She got in the car with her husband driving when he was drunk, and shows no contrition about enabling that — so not okay on any level, that is deadly to the public. She then seriously disrespected a duly appointed officer of the law while he was doing his duty of protecting us, the public.

        And all this after selling herself as little miss perfect to the public.

        Owe us an apology? On her hands and knees.

    • Jm says:

      Emily – I’m not saying driving drunk or any of that is ok. Obviously it’s deplorable. Yes, she needs to do what she needs to make it right – but that does NOT mean an apology to me and you personally. I have no personal investment in whatever image she chooses to put forth. She’s a celebrity and I typically assume most celebrities have fundamentally flawed personalities.

      • Shelly says:

        Exactly. The only people she needs to apologize to are the cop, her parents, her children, her employer, and maybe the citizens of Atlanta. That’s it. As far as her being “Little Miss Perfect”, well, I never thought she was. She may have presented that image, but that came back to bite her in the butt now didn’t it! And the ones calling her Little Miss Perfect are the same ones who are acting all perfect themselves, so….Reese will get her day in court like any of us would and so will her husband.

      • La11 says:

        Emily, pipe down. You’re part of the finger pointing, self righteous society we’ve become. People taking her arrest as a personal attack need to get a hobby. People want desperately to attack celebrities. In reality they’ve paid more taxes than anyone ever will in their lifetime and ultimately have contributed more to our society than most.

      • La11 says:

        I also find your comment about the cop “protecting us” laughable. Cops don’t go into the profession to protect people. They go into it to obtain a sense of false power and collect our tax money writing ridiculous citations.

  17. Noodles says:

    I’ve made some huge mistakes in life. Absolutely HUGE. Luckily, none involved public safety or driving drunk.

    I’ve gone back and forth over whether this is sincere. I’m sure she is somewhat embarrassed and feels bad about what she did.

    But I also remember the recent remarks where she was ready to throw her husband under the bus for this. That’s really hard for me to overlook, especially with all the “sources” out there discussing their relationship.

    Either way, I think she’ll be back in the good graces of the public soon. Her PR team had this down….all the way to the straight (no curl) brown hair.

  18. bangarang says:

    I wonder if you can get an Oscar nomination from an apology on a Talk show.

    I think its this is just damage control above anything else, to protect her public persona. Anyone in the public eye has a public persona which they must adhear too.
    She might truly be sorry you never know, but I think these hollywood types will do anything to protect their image.

  19. Amy Lynne says:

    I think she screwed up and screwed up massively. She probably isn’t the sweetest person in the world, and she has probably been drinking too much- either for awhile or recently. But I still like her and I like how she handled this. I never thought she acted like she was that sweet- driven, competitive and tightly wound but not sugary sweet although she did definately project the “I’m better than you” wholesome vibe. She screwed up. It makes her normal. It’s a huge screw up, yes, and it’s very serious, but all you can do it face it, deal with it, and move on. She’ll probably take a good hard look at the drinking habits of herself and her husband after this.Her husband’s mistake is much more unforgivable.

  20. paranormalgirl says:

    “Among the biggest lessons she learned, she said: ‘When a police officer tells you to stay in a car, you stay in a car.’”
    * * *

    Too bad one of the biggest lessons wasn’t “don’t let someone drive drunk if you can prevent it.”

    • Alyce says:

      The problem is, if you are drunk, you often don’t notice how drunk everyone else is. I’m 25 and I NEVER drink and drive, but I have drank and then got into a car with someone I thought was sober, only to find out the next day that they were drunk as well.

  21. Tessa says:

    how awful if they caused an accident where someone was hurt or killed. She has children, she wouldn’t want drunk drivers on the road endangering THEIR lives…hopefully she truly has learned her lesson and this wasn’t any sort of publicity stunt for most likely, a new movie that won’t fair well at box office anyways.

  22. lunabell says:

    Um, I really don’t get what the big deal is?

    Yeah, the “do you know who I am” line is such an a**hole thing to say, especially to a cop, and especially when you are clearly in the wrong, but it just seems that people are getting more of a kick at kicking her off her America’s Sweetheart pedestal.

    So she’s not as sweet and down-to-earth as she would have people believe? Acting is a profession too, after all, and I think we can all relate to wanting to present a certain image in our professional lives even if it isn’t 100% who we truly are. Just people take it so personally when it comes to celebrities.

    She wasn’t the one driving drunk, and she hasn’t pulled any other antics (that I know of) that have hurt anybody. If being an entitled brat is the worst quality she’s shown here, I think it’s appropriate to give her crap for it, but it seems that there are other situations more deserving of multiple weeks of scrutiny. Just sayin’…

  23. Feebee says:

    She’s an actress so I guess we’ll never know if she really was contrite. She did seem a little like a politician in her answers though. She had certain talking points or answers she wanted out there and she got them out there and did very little elaboration.

    I don’t know if this was insincerity or just not wanting people to realise the extent of the situation but phrases like ‘we had one too many’ and ‘i just panicked’, the hardest part was having to tell my kids and the biggest lesson she learned was to stay in the car if a police officer tells you to stay in the car.

    Really Reece, really? You clearly had more than ONE too many. Your husband wasn’t being mugged, he was being justifiably arrested, (no need to panic then again you were a wee bit tiddly right?). I’ll give you the part about the kids. It is hard to explain to your kids you broke the law, then were an asshole to law enforcement (sorry, showed bad judgement). I think the biggest lesson should have been one about drinking and driving no? Then maybe not interfering with a police officer doing his job.

    Good luck with the rest of the movie publicity/arrest apology tour.

  24. Sam says:

    I think it was a decent first interview. She knows there is no excuse for it. Now if she’s really serious, just plead guilty or no contest. Don’t try to get your lawyer to hash out any deals or anything. Just agree to plead and let the judge deal out what he or she thinks it correct. Most of them are lenient if you accept responsibility. Be a big girl and take it on the chin. Good words need to be followed up with right action.

  25. Rhiley says:

    I think she comes off as a little smug and disingenuous. Kind of Tracy Flickish. She is kind of funny, though, and humor can go a long way. Her husband should be doing more press I think, either backing her up or defending her. She is really putting herself out there.

  26. Lauren says:

    Why isn’t she wearing her wedding ring??? She has been photographed several times without it but isn’t this more of a “statement” to show up to an interview of this caliber and not wear your wedding ring when being hammered with questions about you and your husband in such a difficult time???

  27. bcgirl says:

    She “works with police officers every day” ?

  28. Lemon says:

    She clearly expects to be forgiven and I bet thinks she is coming across as adorably flawed but still responsible and worthy of our envy. I am over her. I can’t stand her or her mean girl crew.

  29. Zorbitor says:

    Although its practically impossible, If you’re an average person you’d best try to NOT get convicted…. It really messes up your life.

  30. ya says:

    I really like those boots she’s wearing…… does anyone know what they are?

  31. Emily says:

    She’s not 34. She’s 37.

    I’ve never liked her. I’ve disliked her intensely since she slut-shamed Blake Lively. You don’t do that, as a 37-year old, if you’re a good person. And you don’t get blackout drunk with your drunk husband and “do you know who I am” a cop and then attempt to throw your husband under a bus if you’re a good person.

    She needs to go away for a while then come back in a small, unexpected role and show she can act. She needs to stop trying to sell herself and start trying to sell her talent, because I think she’s got some in there somewhere.

  32. Cordelia says:

    The hair color brings out her chin even more.. she should go back to being blond once the filming is over.

  33. pwal says:

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t believe her, and strangely enough, that may not entirely be her fault. The profuse use of ‘I’m sorry’ throughout the whole thing… life experience and watch Maury after someone failed a lie detector tell me that, usually, the person apologizing like that either thinks or knows that the person hearing it will accept it as the old, played out Band-Aid that it is. And for that, I place the blame on the PR person who coached her and Reese for buying this tack hook, line and sinker.

  34. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    I never thought she was sweet. And now, I’m wondering whether the blind item about a racist a-list actress who pretends to be sweet is her? On my message board everyone said it was her. BUt I don’t think it is.

    • Apples says:

      Ha! Another site of guesses was saying Kristen Stewart. Something about snapping at her then new body guard about not touching her in some airport.
      How she was trying to act sweet during interviews (not in photo ops) for that recent Twilight promotion. For a fascinating example of Stewart trying to act sweet: see MTV? group interview where Pattinson is asked if she made his career, he replies no he thinks he made hers. There are some funny gifs of her sickly sweet reaction.

  35. Deedee says:

    That hair color is not working for her. Makes her look even older and exaggerates her jaw line.

  36. Apples says:

    Why does everyone think she’s America’s Sweetheart?! Because she played Elle Woods? I never got the impression she was trying to sell herself that way. She has always been openly uptight and the type to correct someone even in an interview. Didn’t she name her production company “Type A Productions” or something?

  37. Su says:

    It’s a BS apology to save her image and multi million dollar career. The only thing she’s sorry about is that they got caught driving drunk.

  38. Shy says:

    Who cares. Media treat this apology thing, discuss will it work or not… But they forgot that her career as A-List movie star was over. Few years back. There is nothing to come back for.

    Just like Meg Ryan she was playing those kind of same roles all the time. And then Meg got older and could not play 25-30 naive young woman in romantic comedies. And there was nothing more in Meg as actress, So she just vanished. Same with Reese. She is adult woman. She can’t play those characters like she was in Legally Blonde or Cruel Intentions. People don’t buy it. And all her latest movies flopped.

    She tried to play love interest of Pattinson in that Elephant movie. But she was looking rather like his aunt then love interest. There is not A-list career that Reese can save with her PR-machine. Now she can play supporting characters in some indie movies. She can’t sell movie to viewers as Lead actress anymore.

  39. lisa2 says:

    Wait.. is it true that she told the police officer that she was pregnant? So she thought it was OK for the police to think she was pregnant and drunk. I didn’t know about that part.. I guess it was in the police report too.

    Gross..

    anyway she is doing damage control. It will work for some and not for others. I think she like Gwenny want to change their image and be seen as edgy or sexy. Too late for me. You either are or not. Can’t make it happen.

  40. TG says:

    Wow just watched the dashboard cam video of the arrest over at TMZ and it is wonderful. I was struck at how thick her southern accent reall is. Her husband even tries to tell her to shut up and after she is put in the car in handcuffs he tells the officer he had nothing to do with that. Love it that he is into saving his own skin and distancing himself from his wife.

  41. Glaughy says:

    Damage is done, Reese. I do believe she is totally an entitled bitch behind closed doors, I have thought this for years.

    That said, everyone makes mistakes.

    • lisa2 says:

      Just saw the video at another site and wish I had before I made my comment. She was not falling down drunk.. but that video just shows what a brat she is. and as a poster said the funniest thing was how her husband was so quiet. I bet she is hell on wheels in an argument. He was trying to tell her to stop and she would not listen at all.

      and for the people that will say the officer was wrong. Tell that to a family of a fallen officer that was killed by a passenger in a car or attacked. It happens a lot. Not pulling race persay.. but if she was some other color.. her ass would have been Tarazed and treated by many POS a lot differently for even opening her mouth once during an arrest. Truth like it or not.

      • pwal says:

        Just saw the video… kinda skuttle the whole crazy, drunk redneck b!tch image that some people were cobbling for her.

        She behaved like a total snot.

      • Glaughy says:

        Just saw the new video footage too… I was all prepared to be outraged but was kinda underwhelmed. Meh. I see what you mean about her husband, Lord help that poor soul if he ever crosses her. She was drunk, acting like a total stuck-up entitled brat, but she wasn’t verbally abusive to the officer (imho) just drunky, belligerent and bitchy. I’m not trying to defend Reese (what am I saying here?) but she was really not that horrible.

  42. lisa says:

    i cant get over how plain she is with the brown hair

  43. Christin says:

    Just saw a clip of the arrest video. She comes across as a hateful, arrogant woman with her do you know who I am routine. I don’t buy that she was super drunk. Super entitled and stupid, absolutely.

  44. l says:

    And the dash cam video has leaked. Wow. This was after being told to get back in the car several times “I’m an AMERICAN!I can stand where I want” That cop was nothing but professional and had clearly had it at that point.

    Ugh.
    http://www.tmz.com/2013/05/02/reese-witherspoon-arrest-dash-cam-video/

  45. Thiajoka says:

    Frankly, she doesn’t sound that drunk in the video–she just sounds like an entitled ass who was inconvenienced by being pulled over. The husband is very slurry, however, but LOL at him apologizing for her. What was it with the “anti-American” crap she kept pulling?

  46. Dee Cee says:

    It’s good to get caught.. then you can’t smugly sneak around, party and booze it up and pretend you’re ever so good and nice..

  47. mar says:

    I believe when you are drunk, your real personality comes out.

  48. Mims says:

    Jim Toth after Reese redneck crazied it up: “I had nothing to do with that.”

    Dashboard cams for the win! There best be an article about them tomorrow.

  49. Kosmos says:

    I saw the interview, but I’m not buying it completely. She had to do ‘damage control,’ but I don’t think she’s okay with the cop arresting her hubby….he should be allowed to drive around drunk and crash into other people because she’s Reese Witherspoon and has made a name for herself. While I have always really liked Reese, and I agree that she does have a good-girl image, there may be another more snarky side to her. Personally, I can’t imagine interfering with an officer like that, and I think the cop was really nice with her, considering. Unfortunately, this is now damage control and paying for your sins, Reese.

  50. Elyssa says:

    I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of “long in the tooth” and I get blackout drunk occasionally, too. I apparently do and say crazy stuff when I’m blackout drunk. I act completely out of character and shamefully. Such is the life of the binge drinker.