Associated Press/CNN Wire Staff report
A dash-cam video of Reese Witherspoon's recent disorderly-conduct arrest provides a rare glimpse of one of Hollywood's best-known actresses unfiltered as she, after "one too many" glasses of wine, takes on a no-nonsense Georgia state trooper following her husband's traffic stop.
In video of the April 19 early-morning incident in Atlanta, posted Thursday by the website TMZ, the 37-year-old actress seeks to intercede as her husband is being administered a field sobriety test by the trooper.
Trooper First Class J. Pyland tells Witherspoon to stay in the couple's vehicle no fewer than five times. For her part, Witherspoon is equally determined to get out and engage him, even at one point feigning to be pregnant and saying she needs to use the bathroom.
When the trooper starts to arrest her, she lets loose. The 5-foot-1 Witherspoon turns to yell at him while being handcuffed and accuses the trooper of harassment, at one point prompting him to warn her, "You fight me, I promise you ..."
Witherspoon's husband, Hollywood agent Jim Toth, mostly observes the exchange, but tries to calm her after the trooper's warning about resisting arrest.
The 37-year-old actress sat down with "Good Morning America" Thursday to explain just what happened in Atlanta on April 19, when Witherspoon allegedly interfered with the arrest of her husband, Jim Toth, on a drunk driving charge.
But it wasn't just the allegations of drunk driving that caught attention - it was the star's reported dialogue, as described in the police report. "Do you know my name?" a Georgia state trooper recalled Witherspoon saying. "You're about to find out who I am."
Speaking with "GMA's" George Stephanopoulos, Witherspoon could only say that it was "one of those nights."
"We went out to dinner in Atlanta, and we had one too many glasses of wine, and we thought we were fine to drive and we absolutely were not," she said. "It's completely unacceptable, and we are so sorry and embarrassed. We know better and we shouldn't have done that."
While the couple could've taken a car service or a taxi, they "made a mistake," Witherspoon said. "It was just poor judgment ... just bad judgment, you know?"
But as for those comments she made to the police officer, Witherspoon doesn't know where that came from.
"I have no idea what I was saying ... I saw him arresting my husband, and I literally panicked," Witherspoon recalled. "I said all kinds of crazy things. I told him I was pregnant, [and] I'm not pregnant ... I had no idea what I was talking about. I'm so sorry, I was so disrespectful to him. I have police officers in my family, I work with police officers everyday, I know better. It's just unacceptable."
Now that it's all in her rearview, Witherspoon is looking at the lessons she's learned from all of this.
"When a police officer tells you to stay in the car, you stay in the car. I learned that for sure," she said, laughing. "I think I've played a lawyer in a movie so many times I think I am a lawyer, and clearly I'm not a lawyer, because I got arrested. So yeah, I learned a lot."