Reese Witherspoon Reflects on Her Ex-Husband, Ryan Phillippe, Publicly Sharing She Made More Money Than Him

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Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe will always be remembered as one of Hollywood’s most adored couples. Though the pair divorced over a decade ago, their love story remains embedded in fans’ memories. 

During their seven-year marriage, Witherspoon’s career reached new heights, with her as the most in-demand actor within her relationship. Apparently, her earning potential caused slight tension in her marriage as Phillippe publicly joked about such during an awards presentation.

A recap of Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe’s relationship

Witherspoon and Phillippe met at Witherspoon’s 21st birthday party in 1997. In a 1998 interview with Jane Magazine, Witherspoon admitted she drunkenly made the first pass at Phillippe. 

“I don’t know what came over me — maybe the seven Midori sours — but I told him, ‘I think you’re my birthday present,’” she said. “He thought it was so flattering, and now that I think about it… how embarrassing!”

Within a year of meeting, they became engaged. Witherspoon discovered she was pregnant with the couple’s first child, Ava, ahead of their big day. Their fiery chemistry was apparent during their on-screen romance in the 1999 cult classic Cruel Intentions.

Related: Does Reese Witherspoon Regret Her Marriage to Ryan Phillippe?

They announced their separation in 2006, with both later citing their split to getting married at a young age, coupled with other factors including their careers and children.

Phillippe said in 2015 in an interview with Larry King: “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.”

Witherspoon shared the same feelings, telling Lorraine in 2017, “I got married when I was 23 and I had two kids by the time I was 27,” she said. “So I don’t know, you know, sometimes it’s good to know yourself.”

Luckily, the two are friendly and co-parent their two children together. Witherspoon is now married to talent agent Jim Toth. Phillippe has not remarried.

Reese Witherspoon on being shocked by Ryan Phillippe’s money comment

Durning Witherspoon and Phillippe’s marriage, Witherspoon’s career began to take off with a string of popular film roles. While Phillippe continued acting, Witherspoon was viewed as the bigger star…and money maker.

Phillippe made reference to Witherspoon’s wealth during their presentation at the 2002 Oscar’s when he told Witherspoon to speak before him because “you make more money than I do.”

Related: Are Reese Witherspoon and Ex-Husband Ryan Phillippe Friends?

But Witherspoon says the she almost forgot about the moment. “You’re reminding me of that! I forgot that ever happened,” Witherspoon revealed during her interview on The HFPA in Conversation podcast. “But you’re right, he did say that, and no, it wasn’t scripted. 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.”

Witherspoon says women earning more in their marriages is becoming more of a normality, but hints that at the time of her marriage, the idea was not widely accepted.

“There’s so few women that make a lot of money that sometimes they’re shamed for it, and sometimes they are expected to give more and do more and be more to others in the same position that maybe a male movie star may not be expected,” she added. “But I do think gender norms have changed quite a bit since that moment in 2000 or something.”

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