With Boston bombers and collapsing buildings dominating the headlines, it was refreshing to wake up to Good Morning America this week. In the face of a surprising DUI and arrest, Reese Witherspoon did something shocking by celebrity standards – she told the truth. She offered explicit detail of the night of her arrest and even gave the audience embarrassing insight into what happened. She drank too much, told off an officer, told lies and “just panicked” at her husband’s arrest. She expressed sincere regret and embarrassment. By talking further about how she was handling the situation with her children, she appealed to her fan base as a real person who let her family down and would be leading through example in the handling of the situation.
In terms of delivery, her interview was completely devoid of telltale media training. It was unrehearsed sounding and contrite. Her voice was low, quiet and measured – stressing the regret and severity without appearing overly nervous.
As the saying goes’ Life is 10% about what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. Without excusing her actions, the handling of this PR crisis is one for the record books.