Proving again that love comes when you’re not even looking for it, possibly because you are drunk, Reese Witherspoon was swept off her feet and public roads by an Atlanta police officer, in one of those meet-cute-and-also-intoxicated-and-angry stories that form the beginning of so many classic romances. According to fate and the police report, Witherspoon and her husband, CAA agent James Toth, were detained early Friday morning, after Toth was spotted driving erratically and found to have a blood alcohol level of .139. As the arresting officer forced her husband through his sobriety test, Witherspoon couldn’t keep quiet, spurred to make herself heard by the indomitable pluck that’s defined so many of her movie characters. Also, by being very drunk.
When Witherspoon reportedly said she didn’t believe he was a real police officer, the infuriating, yet strangely intriguing new man in her life continued this playful bickering, telling Witherspoon to “sit on her butt and be quiet”—a challenge she met by getting out of the car, then proudly announcing she was “a U.S. citizen and that she was allowed to ‘stand on American ground.’” The officer surely had to suppress a smile at Witherspoon’s moxie, at the same time he had to suppress her arms to put her in handcuffs. But, as so many men had before him, this officer had clearly underestimated Witherspoon and just how famous she was: “Do you know my name?” Witherspoon reportedly asked, knowing he'd probably never met a girl like her before who was very famous and therefore should not be arrested. “You're about to find out who I am … You are going to be on national news.”
And indeed he was, in stories headlined, “Reese Witherspoon: ‘You’re About To Find Out Who I Am,” but which might have also been headlined, “Police Officer Is Impressed By, Maybe Even A Little Attracted To Reese Witherspoon’s Spunk; New Feelings Are Confusing, Exciting.” But alas, like so many of Witherspoon’s on-screen romances, Witherspoon’s marriage to Toth made their tentative relationship just another confusing love triangle, one complicated by emotions and pending charges for DUI and disorderly conduct. And so Witherspoon had to play it all down in her official statement—dismissing the things she said as in the heat of the moment, triggered by the exciting flush of new infatuation and the scariness of a police officer making a routine traffic stop. Also, by being very drunk.
Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now. But I do want to say, 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. I have nothing but respect for the police and I'm very sorry for my behavior.
Of course, Witherspoon won’t find out how truly sorry she'll be until after she appears in court today. Or, after she and the police officer just drift out of each other's lives, forever wondering "what if?"…