Reese Witherspoon is recalling the uncomfortable moment her ex, Ryan Phillippe, made an unexpected comment about money to her during the 2002 Oscars. During an appearance on the podcast "The HFPA in Conversation," the "Legally Blonde" star admitted she was "flummoxed" when she presented her then-husband Phillippe with an award and he said she should speak before him as she earned more than he did, according to Yahoo! Entertainment.
"I forgot that ever happened," Witherspoon told host Margaret Gardiner when asked about the incident. "But you're right, he did say that, and no, it wasn't scripted, and he didn't tell me he was going to say that before it happened on air. So I was a little bit flummoxed in the moment, too."
During the interview, Witherspoon also recalled her now 21-year-old daughter Ava coming home from school in tears when her classmates made her feel embarrassed after saying that her mom is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
"I said, 'Don't ever feel ashamed of a woman making money,'" Witherspoon recalled. "'There are women all over this world who don't have an opportunity or an education or the ability to make money. And the more women who make more money, will give more money away, will take care of their societies, will take care of their communities, will do more with that money. So don't ever feel bad about your mom making money, and don't ever feel bad if you make money, and don't be embarrassed or ashamed if it's more than your partner.'"
Witherspoon has established herself as an Oscar-winning actress and acclaimed producer but her salary has drawn widespread criticism. The Hollywood star addressed the topic during a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"There seemed to be a resentment, as if we weren't worth it or it was bothersome, and I thought, 'Why is that bothersome?'" she said.
"I guarantee these companies are real smart, and if they agree to pay us, they're doing it for a reason," Witherspoon continued. "They probably had a lot of lawyers and a lot of business people decide on that number because they knew that they were going to make more than that back. Does it bother people when Kobe Bryant or LeBron James make their contract?"
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