Reese Witherspoon and Britney Spears both became incredibly famous at around the same time, making major strides in their careers in the late '90s and early '00s. In addition, both women split from their now ex-husbands in 2006, Witherspoon from Ryan Phillippe and Spears from Kevin Federline, making them both single moms raising two kids. In a new interview with Time, Witherspoon recalled the intense hounding by the paparazzi she endured amid her divorce, reflecting on how the media painted her differently than it did the pop star.
Witherspoon shared that she was followed to church, to school and to her kids' soccer practice by photographers and that there was a period of time when an RV was parked outside her home with cameras pointing into her kitchen window at all hours before she ultimately relocated her family to Nashville. "My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars," she said. Despite that treatment, the Oscar winner considers herself lucky, pointing out that women like Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were considered "bad" by the media while women like herself and her friend Jennifer Garner were "good."
As a result, Witherspoon's actions were handled differently than those of other famous women, with the actress specifically pointing to the times she was filmed screaming at the camera and how her reputation was not negatively affected long-term. "What if the media had decided I was something else?" she asked. "I would be in a totally different position. I want to say it's my decisions or the career choices I made, but it felt very arbitrary. And kind of s—tty."
Witherspoon is one of multiple female celebrities who have spoken out after the release of the recent documentary Framing Britney Spears, which examined Spears' treatment by the media, including Hilton, who addressed the film in a February episode of her podcast, This Is Paris. "I've been reading all of these articles coming out where they were just saying, like, Britney, Paris and just, like, a group of us were just were treated so unfairly and just, like, this really misogynistic view and just being very cruel and mean and making fun of us," she said. "It made me think a lot this week, reading all these new things that are coming out after the Britney film."