Reese Witherspoon is owning up to a mistake she made in 2013 in a new interview with Jameela Jamil on her podcast I Weigh. The incident happened in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2013 when her husband, Jim Toth, was pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Instead of staying safely in her vehicle, Witherspoon exited the car to confront the officer.
“It was so embarrassing and dumb,” Witherspoon admitted. “But, you know what — [it] turns out I breathe air. I bleed the same way. I make dumb decisions. I make great decisions. I’m just a human being.”
That’s when those famous words were uttered and caught on police video.
“Do you know my name?” Witherspoon said at the time to the arresting officer. “You’re about to find out who I am… you’re about to be on national news.”
It’s something no one ever wants to experience or ever heard played back on the national news, but that’s exactly what happened to Witherspoon. She was clearly mortified by her behavior.
“Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now,” she said in a public statement in 2013. “But I do want to say, I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said.”
That embarrassment is still with her to this day, but it’s apparent the lesson has been learned, even though it was a hard one.
“We’re all just the same as each other and we’re all trying to find what our special skills are,” she said to Jamil. “My special skill is storytelling, but that doesn’t mean I’m a special person. Talent doesn’t make you a good person. But a big value in my family was, ‘Are you a good person?'”
Witherspoon pleaded no contest and paid a $213 fine while her husband pleaded guilty to a DUI charge. He received 40 hours of community service and a required alcohol education program. The duo has kept a much lower profile since then. It was a hard lesson learned, but one that Witherspoon has stuck to.