I wasn’t the only one surprised that Reese Witherspoon ended up in jail this past weekend. And not so much that she ended up in jail, but how she landed there. After her husband, Jim Toth, was arrested for drunk driving, Reese started popping off at one of the officers. Understandable. Though her husband was clearly in the wrong, we all know that the police can be a bit obnoxious and even go so far as abusing their power in making legit arrests. I can understand watching your husband being handcuffed is stressful and unpleasant. But what surprised me about Reese’s encounter with the officers was not that she had something to say to them, it was that she tried–and failed– to pull the fame card.
According to TMZ, she low-key used her status to threaten the officer:
“You’re about to find out who I am.”
And then, “Do you know my name?”
Ugh. I just figured Reese was more down to earth than that. The one thing us regular folk can’t stand about celebrities and the wealthy is not so much that they have more than many of us can even imagine, it’s the fact that they feel like the rules don’t apply to them. Now, don’t get me wrong I’ve received quite a bit of preferential treatment in my lifetime. (I learned at a very early age that well-behaved students could get away with a lot of minor indiscretions because teachers knew their “acting out” was a rare occurrence.) I’m a fan of “the hook-up” because you just so happen to “know” the right person. We all deserve to feel special sometimes and it’s human nature to help your friends.
But when celebrities expect to get a pass after they break rules or laws that are set in place to protect them and others, it’s a little disgusting. Like, is anyone going to care that you were in Legally Blonde if your intoxicated husband injures or kills someone? Definitely not.
I don’t want to be too hard on Reese though because she’s since apologized for her actions, saying she’s “deeply embarrassed.” Maybe she was just caught up in the moment. The thing is though, she’s not the only celebrity to fall back on this “famous” card.
Rihanna tried it. She was dancing on tables throwing glass all around when management asked her to leave. Instead of calming down, or leaving the place where she was no longer wanted, she said: “Do they know who I am?” And in her case, it worked. Not only did Rih Rih not have to leave, the club sent free drinks to her table. If somebody’s face had gotten cut up during her shenanigans, the club would have certainly regretted that decision.
I remember back in high school, a group of girls I knew were arrested for stealing from Victoria’s Secret. One of these girls just so happened to be the daughter of the community college’s head football coach. I guess she had taken one too many sips of the “fame” kool-aid. Because as she was being arrested she said to the cops, Do you know who my father is? Gurl boo. Not only did he most likely not know who your father was; even if he had known, it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference. We didn’t live in a po-dunk town in the middle of no where and her father wasn’t coaching a Division 4 team. Those handcuffs were going to stay on. That line became the running joke at school for at least a month. What were you thinking?!
When celebrities attempt to throw their fame around one minute and then claim they’re just like the rest of us in the next, they’re going to have to get the severe side eye.
The whole thing reminds me of a Jay-Z lyric from his song “Lost Ones”:
Except that fame is
The worst drug known to man
It’s stronger than, heroin
When you could look in the mirror like, “There I am”
And still not see, what you’ve become
I know I’m guilty of it too but not like them.
Reese apologized and we can’t really judge her for her actions knowing that if the tables were turned we just might have behaved similarly.