‘Not The Crime Of The Century’: Here’s Why Winona Ryder Doesn’t Regret Her 2001 Arrest

She was caught shoplifting, but says it was a blessing in disguise.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.56.52

Her hiatus from acting lasted for over a decade, but now Winona Ryder is back in the limelight with a role in the TV show of the moment, Netflix’s sci-fi drama Stranger Things.

After she was arrested and later convicted for shoplifting €5,000 worth of clothing and jewellery at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York in December 2001, many assumed that Winona’s lifelong career as an actress was over, but she says she never saw it like that. Rather it was a chance for her to take a break and a step back.

“Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop [acting],” she tells Porter magazine of her mid-career crisis.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.22.20

Winona at her criminal trial in 2002

“I won’t get into what happened, but it wasn’t what people think. And it wasn’t like the crime of the century.

“But it allowed me time that I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and got back into things… I just had other interests, frankly.”

Speaking to Vogue back in 2007, Winona said the incident was in part spurred on by her struggles with anxiety and depression, plus a dependence on painkillers.

“Two months prior to that, I broke my arm in two places, and the doctor, a sort of quack doctor, was giving me a lot of stuff and I was taking it at first to get through the pain,” she told the magazine.

“And then there was this weird point when you don’t know if you are in pain but you’re taking it.”

As for her future in acting, Winona says she never fell out of love with the industry, but admits things did go a little off course for her.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.56.21

Winona in Stranger Things

“You can’t do something for that long and hate it! People associated me with the 1990s and I wasn’t that anymore. And they didn’t really buy me as my age,” she explains.

“It’s that line in First Wives Club – ‘There are three ages for women: babe, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy.‘ I just never got to play that district attorney.

“But acting still excites me. I don’t sleep the day before a new job. I’m sure it’s psychosomatic but still.”