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"It was a moment where people realised I wasn't exactly what they thought I was," Reese Witherspoon on her 2013 disorderly conduct arrest

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In the public eye, Reese Witherspoon is a Hollywood icon, Oscar-winning star and a mother. So it came as a surprise when she was arrested for disorderly conduct in 2013. 

When her husband, Jim Toth, was pulled over and arrested for drinking under the influence in April last year, Witherspoon, 38, refused to get back into the car after a police officer repeatedly told her to do so. It earned her a disorderly conduct charge, to which she pleaded no contest and paid a $213 (£134) fine.

Yesterday the star spoke up about the incident during a press conference for her upcoming film Wild at the BFI London Film Festival, saying, "I think it was a moment where people realised that I wasn't exactly what they thought I was," reported 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. It's part of human nature. I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. The best you can do is say sorry and learn from it and move on."

Reese Witherspoon at the BFI London Film Festival

Reese Witherspoon at the BFI London Film Festival

After the incident, Witherspoon released a statement apologising for her behavior: "I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said," the star 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."

Reese Witherspoon embarks on a thousand-mile hike, in film Wild

Reese Witherspoon embarks on a thousand-mile hike in film 'Wild'

The star spoke about the arrest during a press conference for her upcoming film Wild, based on the best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed. It's Witherspoon's first gritty and sexually-daring role where she plays a sexually promiscuous woman who's addicted to heroin.

Speaking about her character, the actress recently said, "It's such an important message about female sexuality. We kissed that guy or we had sex with that dude in college. We're totally ashamed of so many things."

"I think this movie says, 'That's OK. Maybe I was meant to sleep with all those guys. Maybe I wanted to. Maybe if I could go back and do it all again, I'd do the same thing.' It's a total liberation, especially for young women," added the star. "Young girls are conditioned to feel shame about their sexual experiences and that's not OK."

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