Reese Witherspoon: Arrest Made People Realize I Wasn't Exactly What They Thought

by Antoinette Bueno 11:27 AM PDT, October 14, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

To say fans were shocked when Reese Witherspoon, 38, was arrested for disorderly conduct last April is an understatement.

Given Reese's good girl reputation cemented by star turns in such movies as Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama and Walk the Line, her disorderly conduct charge and her husband Jim Toth's DUI charge -- coupled with video surfacing of the arrest in which Reese memorably asks a police officer, "Do you know my name? You're about to find out who I am ... You are going to be on national news" -- was unsurprisingly one of the biggest celeb stories of 2013.

And now, a year and a half later, Reese revisited the incident at the BFI London Film Festival.

"I think it was a moment where people realized that I wasn't exactly what they thought I was," she said at a press conference for her new film Wild (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I guess maybe we all like to define people by the way the media presents them, and I think that I showed I have a complexity that people didn't know about."

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"It's part of human nature," she added. "I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. The best you can do is say sorry and learn from it and move on."

Reese ended up pleading no contest to physical obstruction last year for disobeying the officer's order to stay in the car after Toth was pulled over. Toth pled guilty to the charge of driving under the influence, and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and ordered to attend an alcohol education program. He received 12 months of probation.

But even after the incident, Reese's previously squeaky clean image has continued to evolve. Reese raised eyebrows when she was caught on tape letting loose and cursing at a Met Ball after-party in May -- which model Cara Delevingne posted than quickly deleted on Instagram -- and footage of her drinking and dancing to "I Will Survive" at a wedding in Italy also made for some hilarious headlines.

Though it all, Reese has remained one of the most-liked celebs in Hollywood. She addressed her female-friendly reputation herself in a recent Vanity Fair video, in which she revealed the most common things people to say to her when they recognize her on the street.

"You're my best friend and you don't even know it!" she smiled.

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Reese, whose character in Wild is grittier than anything she's done before, has no problem getting taken seriously when it comes to her Oscar-winning films. Check out her gripping portrayal as a heroin user in the trailer for the much buzzed-about movie, out Dec. 5, below.