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Reese Witherspoon says it’s “s–tty” that she’s been treated better in the public eye than stars like Britney Spears.
The Hello Sunshine founder told Time magazine she considers herself “lucky” to have been labeled one of the “good” girls in Hollywood and therefore wasn’t as heavily scrutinized for her more embarrassing moments — like screaming at the paparazzi.
“What if the media had decided I was something else?” Witherspoon, 45, pondered in the interview. “I would be in a totally different position.”
She recognized that it was obvious stars like Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were put into the “bad” bucket during the height of their fame and were often picked apart.
“I want to say it’s my decisions or the career choices I made, but it felt very arbitrary. And kind of s–tty,” said the Oscar winner, reflecting on how the women’s public images were handled differently.
She related particularly to Spears because they were both going through very public divorces in the early 2000s — Witherspoon to fellow actor Ryan Phillippe and Spears to Kevin Federline. Witherspoon and Phillippe divorced in 2007 and are parents to 21-year-old daughter Ava and 17-year-old son Deacon. Spears and Federline also divorced in 2007 and share sons Sean, 15, and Jayden, 14.
“My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars,” Witherspoon told Time.
Since the release of the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary earlier this year — which follows Spears’ life in the spotlight, mental health struggles and conservatorship — several stars have spoken out in support of the pop star.
“One Day at a Time” actress Valerie Bertinelli called the documentary a “gut punch” and noted there were “so many horrible men/leeches in her life.”
Paramore’s Hayley Williams tweeted, “No artist today would have to endure the literal torture that media/society/utter misogynists inflicted upon her. The mental health awareness conversation, culturally, could never be where it is without the awful price she has paid.”
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