Oscar-winning actress pleads no contest to charge of physical obstruction
Police release video of arrest; "You better not arrest me," actress says in video
Witherspoon was arrested April 19, accused of interfering with husband's DUI arrest in Atlanta
Husband pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation, court official says
Reese Witherspoon’s legal trouble over a spat with a Georgia state trooper has been settled with a fine, though a newly released video of the arrest – with lines such as “you better not arrest me; are you kidding me?” – is giving it fresh attention.
The Oscar-winning actress, accused of interfering with the drunken driving arrest of her husband last month in Atlanta, pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge of physical obstruction of another and has paid a $213 fine, according to Municipal Court of Atlanta Administrator Christopher Patterson.
Her husband, James Toth, pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of driving under the influence and has been placed on 12 months of probation, Patterson said. Their pleas were entered in the Atlanta court by the couple’s attorneys.
Terms of Toth’s probation weren’t immediately available. Patterson said the pleas resolve both cases.
The pleas came on the day that TMZ.com posted part of a video from a police dashboard camera showing Witherspoon arguing with the trooper who was arresting the couple. CNN later obtained the video from the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
Witherspoon – who was in Atlanta working on a movie called “The Good Lie” – and Toth were arrested on April 19 when a Georgia state trooper stopped Toth after seeing him weave in and out of a lane as he drove, police said.
The video shows the trooper, while testing Toth for DUI for more than 10 minutes, asking Witherspoon several times to stay in the car. Early in the process, she said: “I’m pregnant and I need to use the (restroom).”
“I need you to get back in the car, and there ain’t no way to use it out here,” the trooper responds. “If I tell you again, I’m going to arrest you.”
Later, the video shows that the trooper, while giving Toth a breath test, breaks away to address Witherspoon again: “Ma’am, sit on your butt and be quiet.”
It’s unclear on the video what was said next, though the trooper wrote in a police report that Witherspoon at one point began to “hang out the window and say that she did not believe that I was a real police officer.”
Then, as the trooper begins to arrest Toth, the video shows, Witherspoon approaches them.
“Ma’am, what did I just tell you to do?” the trooper asks in the video.
“I am a U.S. citizen. I am allowed to stand on American ground and ask any question I want to ask,” Witherspoon says.
The trooper then handcuffs her as Toth tries to calm her.
“You better not arrest me. Are you kidding me?” Witherspoon says. “I’m an American citizen. This is beyond. … You’re harassing me as an American citizen. I have done nothing against the law. … I have to obey your orders? No sir, I do not.”
Witherspoon continues, “Do you know my name, sir? … You’re about to find out who I am.”
A breath test on Toth registered 0.139, above the legal limit of 0.08 for a driving under the influence charge, the report said.
After canceling TV appearances following her arrest, the 37-year-old actress told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that she was sorry and that she was “so disrespectful” to the officer.
“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.”
Witherspoon said that despite what she told the trooper, she’s not pregnant.
“I said crazy things. … I had no idea what I was talking about,” she told “Good Morning America’s” George Stephanopolous.
“When a police officer tells you to stay in the car, you stay in the car. I learned that for sure,” she told Stephanopolous, 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.”
Witherspoon won the best actress Oscar for the 2005 movie “Walk the Line.”
CNN’s Alan Duke and Breeanna Hare contributed to this report.