ATLANTA — Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after a state trooper said she wouldn’t stay in the car while her husband was given a field sobriety test in Atlanta.
Witherspoon was released from jail after the Friday morning arrest and was in New York 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 a traffic stop was initiated. Her husband, James Toth, had droopy eyelids, watery, bloodshot eyes, and his breath smelled strongly of alcohol, according to the report.
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, the 37-year-old 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.
“Do you know my name?” Witherspoon is quoted as asking the trooper. 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.
Toth and Witherspoon were then taken to jail.
A message left at the office of Witherspoon’s publicist, Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson, wasn’t immediately returned Sunday.
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 reporter Lauri Neff contributed to this report from New York.