Reese Witherspoon is comparing how she, Britney Spears and other female stars were portrayed in the media throughout in their careers.
During an interview with Time, the 45-year-old actress recalls the constant attention she received from the paparazzi after her divorce from Ryan Phillippe in November 2006, and how it differed from the narrative given to Spears when she was divorcing Kevin Federline at the same time. The women also had children around the same age when they announced their breakups.
“What if the media had decided I was something else?” the Oscar winner ponders. “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.”
Despite their labels, Witherspoon also shares that, like Spears, her family was put under a microscope at the time of her divorce, noting that there was a time when a RV was parked outside her home with cameras pointed at her kitchen window.
“My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars,” she tells Time.
Since the release of The New York Times’ unauthorized documentary, Framing Britney Spears, a number of celebrities have come forward to share how they can relate to the pop star’s story, including actress Sienna Miller.
“[When I] see footage of photographers chasing and attacking women in the way they did, I start shaking – it was so intense,” Miller told The Daily Telegraph. “It was a strange time to be a young person becoming well known, at the height of whatever feeding-frenzy was going on in tabloid culture.”
Kudos to Reese for speaking out. She has a point.