Reese Witherspoon's Post-Arrest Apology and Other Great Celebrity Mea Culpas

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Reese Witherspoon's Post-Arrest Apology and Other Great Celebrity Mea Culpas
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Reese Witherspoon in February 2011.

America's sweetheart Reese Witherspoon found herself in a tough spot on Friday night after she was arrested alongside hubby Jim Toth.

The pair were pulled over in Atlanta, Georgia, where Witherspoon, 37, has been filming "The Good Lie." After giving Toth, 42, a sobriety test and a breathalyzer, the officer placed him under arrest for DUI. According to the police report, the "Walk the Line" actress became increasingly agitated, telling the policeman "she did not believe that [he] was a real police officer" and "you're about to find out who I am." After refusing to stay in the car, the mother of three was handcuffed and arrested for disorderly conduct, telling the officer "you're going to be on national news."

Turns out, Witherspoon was right, and the story has indeed caused quite a stir. Despite the ongoing embarrassment and recently released footage of the arrest, the Academy Award winner has done an incredible job of handling the fallout thus far.

Making no excuses for her behavior, she quickly issued a public apology saying, "I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said." Owning up to her mistake, she added contritely, "I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. I have nothing but respect for the police and I'm very sorry for my behavior."

She has managed to endear herself to fans with her sincere and humble apology. Compared to the typical defensive statements and half-baked rationalizations so frequently heard from celebrities, Witherspoon's mea culpa was a breath of fresh air, and the perfect first step toward ensuring that the incident is forgiven and forgotten.

As Reese continues to keep her chin up and put her best foot forward, here's a look at which other celebs have delivered truly heartfelt apologies.

Kristen Stewart

In July 2012, actress Kristen Stewart issued a guilt-ridden public apology to her boyfriend and "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson, after she was snapped kissing her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders. The then-22-year-old said, "I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected."

Speaking to Pattinson, Stewart confessed her wrongdoing saying, "This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry." Ironically, the statement was the first time the notoriously private Stewart spoke of her love for her 26-year-old beau. After a separation, the two reconciled and continued dating.

Hugh Grant

Back in 1995, actor Hugh Grant was infamously found with prostitute Divine Brown and arrested for lewd conduct. Rather than downplaying the incident or making excuses, he owned up to the embarrassing misstep during an interview with Jay Leno. Then 35, Grant said simply, "I think you know in life what's a good thing to do and what's a bad thing. I did a bad thing, and there you have it."

Saying that he and then-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley were continuing to work on their relationship, Grant offered his thoughts on what it's like to be the subject of such negative publicity. He said, "I can understand everyone having a joke and see that if I hadn't been the person who perpetrated this whole thing, I would be enjoying it as much as anyone else." He then added ruefully, "But it's pretty miserable on the other side of the equation."

David Letterman

In October 2009, "Late Show" host David Letterman informed audience members that he was being blackmailed by someone with knowledge of his extramarital affairs. Admitting to his indiscretions, the Emmy winner apologized to his wife saying, "Regina, she has been horribly hurt by my behavior. And when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it."

The 66-year-old proved to be a difficult target. Letterman worked with authorities to apprehend the attempted extortionist, who turned out to be "48 Hours" producer Robert J. Halderman. Via his lawyer, the comedian handed over a fake $2 million check; when Halderman tried to cash it, he was arrested by police.

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