Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon on Why the Media Treated Her Differently Than Britney Spears

Reese Witherspoon and Britney Spears both got divorced in November 2006 and were both hounded by the paparazzi. However, the actress says the media treated them differently

Reese Witherspoon knows firsthand what it's like to live in the public eye.

In a new interview for Time, the 45-year-old actress reflects on the scrutiny she's faced over the years.

It was in November 2006 that Witherspoon filed for divorce from her now ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, with whom she shares daughter Ava Phillippe, 21, and Deacon Phillippe, 17. She also has an 8-year-old son, Tennessee Toth, with her husband Jim Toth.

Looking back to that time, the "Legally Blonde" alum recalls being hounded by the paparazzi, who she says followed her to church, to her kids' school and to their soccer practice. She tells the magazine about a time when photographers parked an RV outside her California home and pointed their cameras into her kitchen window to snap pictures every hour of every day.

"My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars," she said.

Conservatorship attorney Gillian Smith breaks down why Britney Spears has been unable to escape her court-induced conservatorship for the past 12 years.

25 Fascinating Facts About Reese Witherspoon

Witherspoon, who later moved her family to Nashville, compares her experience to Britney Spears: the 39-year-old singer also filed for divorce from her now ex-husband Kevin Federline in November 2006 and was constantly chased by the paparazzi with her two kids Sean Preston Federline, 15, and Jayden James Federline, 14.

Still, Witherspoon knows the media treated her differently than they did Spears. The Oscar winner told Time women like Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were painted as "bad" while women like herself and Jennifer Garner were labeled as "good." Although, to Witherspoon, it didn't make much sense since she sometimes yelled at the paparazzi – including during her 2013 arrest for disorderly conduct – just like her fellow stars.

"What if the media had decided I was something else?" Witherspoon 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-----."

Britney Spears is speaking out. The pop star took to Instagram to share a message with fans, sharing a video of her performing “Toxic” onstage and writing in part, “I’ll always love being on stage …. But I am taking the time to learn and be a normal person ….. I love simply enjoying the basics of every day life !!!! Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different beautiful lives."

Spears' treatment by the media, along with her conservatorship battle, was examined in The New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears."

Like Witherspoon, fellow star Hilton also reflected on this topic 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."

Paris Hilton testified in Utah's Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee Monday, advocating for a bill that would increase transparency and proposes to end abusive practices in the state's congregate care programs.
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