Monday, April 22, 2013 10:11 pm
Witherspoon 'embarrassed' by arrest; hearing reset
KATE BRUMBACKAssociated Press
Witherspoon's case was scheduled for a Monday morning hearing, but it was reset for May 22. She was arrested Friday.
The Oscar-winning actress released a statement late Sunday apologizing for her behavior when her husband, Hollywood agent Jim Toth, was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. Toth also had a hearing set for Monday, but it was rescheduled for May 23.
The actress didn't appear in court. She was in New York on Sunday night attending the premiere of her new movie "Mud." She posed for cameras on the red carpet but did not stop to talk to reporters.
"Do you know my name?" Witherspoon is quoted as saying in a Georgia state trooper's report of the early Friday incident. She also said: "You're about to find out who I am" and "You're about to be on national news," according to the report.
"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. The words I used that night definitely do not reflect who I am. I have nothing but respect for the police and I'm very sorry for my behavior."
Witherspoon said she can't comment further "out of respect" for the pending case, and her publicist, Meredith O'Sullivan Wasson, offered no other details.
The 37-year-old actress was arrested on a municipal charge of disorderly conduct after a state trooper said she wouldn't stay in the car while Toth was given a field sobriety test.
The trooper noticed the car driven by her husband wasn't staying in its lane early Friday morning, so he pulled the couple over. 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 wrote.
Before the field sobriety test began, Witherspoon got out of the car, but then got back in when she was ordered to, 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 wrote.
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.
The actress, who was born in New Orleans and grew up in Nashville, was married to Toth in March 2011. They had a baby son last fall; she also has two children from her previous marriage to actor Ryan Phillippe.
Witherspoon had been in Atlanta filming "The Good Lie," in which she plays an American woman who assists a Sudanese refugee after he wins a lottery and comes to the U.S.
In addition to her Oscar-winning performance as June Carter Cash in 2005's "Walk The Line," Witherspoon has starred in "Election," "Pleasantville," "Legally Blonde," "Sweet Home Alabama" and 2011's "Water for Elephants."