State News

April 22, 2013

Witherspoon ‘deeply embarrassed’ about arrest

ATLANTA — Reese Witherspoon is “deeply embarrassed” about what she said to police officers during her husband’s arrest in Atlanta.

The Oscar-winning actress released a statement late Sunday apologizing for her behavior to police that began when her husband, Hollywood agent Jim Toth, was arrested early Friday for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said,” Witherspoon 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.”

Her publicist, Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson, offered no other details.

Witherspoon, 37, was arrested on a municipal charge of disorderly conduct early Friday after a state trooper said she wouldn’t stay in the car while Toth was given a field sobriety test. She was released from jail after the Friday morning arrest and was in New York on Sunday night for the premiere of her new film, “Mud.” She posed for cameras on the red carpet but did not stop to talk to reporters.

The trooper noticed the car driven by her husband wasn’t staying in its lane early Friday morning, so he initiated a traffic stop. He reported that Toth had droopy eyelids, watery, bloodshot eyes, and his breath smelled strongly of alcohol.

Toth told the trooper he’d had a drink, which Witherspoon said was consumed at a restaurant two hours before the traffic stop, the trooper writes.

Before the field sobriety test began, Witherspoon got out of the car, was told to get back in and obeyed, the report said. After the “Walk the Line” star got out a second time, the trooper said he warned her that she would be arrested if she left the car again.

As the test continued, “Mrs. Witherspoon began to hang out the window and say that she did not believe that I was a real police officer. I told Mrs. Witherspoon to sit on her butt and be quiet,” Trooper First Class J. Pyland writes.

Toth, 42, was then placed under arrest. He was charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain the lane.

At that point, the report says, Witherspoon got out and asked the trooper what was going on. After being told to return to the car, she “stated that she was a ‘US Citizen’ and that she was allowed to ‘stand on American ground,”’ the report states.

The trooper then began to arrest Witherspoon. The report says Witherspoon was resistant at first but was calmed down by her husband.

Toth and Witherspoon were then taken to jail.  

News of the arrest broke shortly before Witherspoon arrived on the “Mud” red carpet.

“I can’t say anything because I don’t know,” said director Jeff Nichols. “I literally — the first guy on the press line to say something was the first time I heard about it so I gotta go figure it out.”

Matthew McConaughey, who plays the lead role in “Mud” and is represented by Toth, said “I’m not going to comment on that because it’s too fresh.”

——

AP writers Sandy Cohen in Los Angeles and Lauri Neff in New York contributed to this report.

 

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