Reese Witherspoon's Mug Shot Pose Explained (Not That It Makes Sense)

Why didn't the actress have to look at the camera? Some say she got preferential treatment!

There's something strange about Reese Witherspoon's mug shot -- besides the fact that it exists in the first place. After being arrested for disorderly conduct in Atlanta, the actress, who has admitted to having "one drink too many," posed for the obligatory photo. Her husband Jim Toth, who was arrested for DUI, stares straight ahead in his photo. But Reese isn't even looking at the camera. Isn't that a little odd?

According to a police source, Witherspoon had her head down because she was basically too drunk to hold still. "She was wobbly," an officer told People. "She didn't need help walking, but she wasn't at a point where we could get a really clear picture." In fact, says the source, this mug shot was apparently the better of two pictures; in the other, "she sort of bent down at the waist and we got the top of her head."

If this seems weird to you, it should. The whole purpose of a mug shot is to get a clear identification of a suspect. Plenty of celebrities have posed for the police, but Reese is the only one we've seen who isn't looking at the camera.

Maybe it's a local thing? Here are a bunch of other photos of people recently arrested in Atlanta. All facing the camera.

Finally, here's a just-released video of Reese Witherspoon being escorted to the police station. Does she look a little less graceful than usual? Maybe. Is she falling-down, can't-hold-her-head-up drunk? Definitely not.

An Atlanta attorney told People that there is "no exception" to the standard mug shot pose, and that "protocol was definitely not followed" in Reese's case. Which means one of two things: 1) she received special treatment because she was a celebrity, or 2) the police were so fed up with her behavior that they just wanted to get it over with. Given what we know about the circumstances of the arrest, she may well have been yelling about her rights as a famous American all the way to the station.

People's police source defended their decision by saying, "this isn't a big case and there's not much more investigation that has to be done, so getting a clear picture of the suspect looking at the camera wasn't absolutely necessary." If Reese's Legally Blonde character Elle Woods were real, we bet she could poke a lot of holes in that statement.

Even without the glassy-eyed mug shot, Witherspoon seems pretty mortified right now. Though she attended the premiere of her new film Mud, she canceled all the promotional interviews, including talks with Good Morning America and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We're guessing that whenever she finally does open up, Reese will do it on Chelsea Lately -- because pal Chelsea Handler has already come to her defense.

"She's doing fine. She's doing fine, you know?" the comedienne told Entertainment Tonight on Monday. "She was just trying to protect her husband, so...I mean, everybody makes mistakes, so it's not a big deal."

Witherspoon and Toth's Atlanta court hearing has been rescheduled for May 22, and their attorney has arranged for a "pretrial intervention program" so that Reese won't have a conviction on her record. (What were we saying about celebrities getting preferential treatment?) More importantly: There's police video of the entire arrest, which can be legally released to the public after the case is closed. We smell a hit!

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