Reese Witherspoon Doesn’t Regret Marrying Ex-Husband Ryan Phillippe at Age 23
“I would never change anything.”
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe were one of the most quintessentially ’90s celebrity couples, ranking just below Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. The pair met, per ’90s magazine JANE, on Witherspoon’s 21st birthday, during which she slurred at him, “I think you’re my birthday present!” A year later, they were engaged and happily playing sexy proto-Gossip Girl versions of decadent French aristocracy in Cruel Intentions. Witherspoon and Phililippe later endured a highly publicized divorce in 2007.
In a new interview on British talkshow Lorraine, Witherspoon made it clear that she regrets nothing about their relationship with Phillippe, with whom she still remains good friends and shares two children. The topic came up while the actress was promoting her new film, Home Again, which is about a mother who has an affair with a younger man. “It’s about that next chapter in your life,” said Witherspoon. “What do you do when you get to 40 and you made a decision when you were 25 to get married and have kids? I got married when I was 23 and I had two kids by the time I was 27. So I don’t know, you know, sometimes it’s good to know yourself.”
She went on to say, “I would never change anything,” although she followed that up immediately by saying she wouldn’t necessarily give the same advice to her daughter and noted doppelgänger, Ava Phillippe. “I’ve said to my daughter, I think, you know, [at] 25, you start to know yourself a little bit better.”
Over the years, both Witherspoon and her ex-husband have been candid about getting married in their early-to-mid 20s. Phillippe himself has identified their respective ages as one reason for their split. “I think more of the problem was age,” he told Us Weekly in 2015. “When we got together we were so young. I think it can create issues with two people in this industry because there’s so much noise that goes along with it.” Four years before that, Witherspoon had said to Elle UK, “I was so, so young. I was, like, ridiculously young.”
“I learned a lot, though,” the actress added in that interview. “It was an excellent opportunity for me to really find out what it means to be a partner and to be in a marriage and it’s not anything that I thought it was.”
In 2011, Witherspoon remarried to talent agent Jim Toth. The two share a son.
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