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Tara Reid Speaks Out About the Bad Girl Image She Received in Her Youth

Ryan McLachlan
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Zayne / MovieStills DB
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Zayne / MovieStills DB

Tara Reid, known for portraying Vicky in the American Pie film series and, more recently, April Wexler in the Sharknado films, has spoken out about the “bad girl” image that she received during her rise in fame. She explained that the media were always there with a camera to capture her most private or embarrassing moments.

‘I never did anything wrong’

In an interview for Mr. Warburton Magazine, Reid discussed the media coverage she received even though she insists she “never did anything wrong.” She jokingly called herself the “godmother” of that type of negative media attention, which she said other stars had to put up with after her.

Tara Reid and Thomas Ian Nicholas in American Pie (1999).
American Pie (1999). (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / murraymomo / MovieStills DB)

As Reid explained that she’d done nothing wrong, she said she had “never been to jail… never did sex tapes… never even gotten a speeding ticket.” But this didn’t stop the media from always finding something to report. Reid said that she’d be having a celebratory drink in Europe after’d finished shooting and that those pictures would end up in some tabloid.

She added, “Anything I did was on tape, it was pretty awful. And that’s why I left.” Reid declared that this attention wasn’t because she was “just a girl” but it was because she was an easy target. She compared herself to Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, who, as she said, had the best lawyers. Anyone who went after them ultimately lost. Reid, however, was not so lucky.

Wardrobe malfunctions

Tara Reid attending ScotWeek 2021 at Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows on March 29, 2021 in Santa Monica, California.
Tara Reid on the red carpet at ScotWeek 2021, March 29, 2021. (Photo Credit: Michael Bezjian / Getty Images)

In a now-famous 2004 wardrobe malfunction, Reid was standing in front of photographers on the red carpet when she noticed excitement come across their faces. It was at least half a minute until a publicist walked up to her and repositioned the strap of her dress back on her shoulder.

During the time in which her breast was exposed, the photographers didn’t stop or say anything. They continued taking their photos which very shortly afterward were on the internet and splashed on the pages of tabloids.

Reid admitted to Access Hollywood that “I just hated that the paparazzi were high-fiving each other and laughing.” As if the existence of these photographs wasn’t enough, every detail of her breast was joked about. “It was so cruel,” Reid commented.

In recent years, this media attention has remained much the same. In 2019, when exiting a car outside of a restaurant in Beverly Hills, cameras caught a glimpse of Reid’s underwear. Unsurprisingly, these images soon made it into tabloids and onto the internet. The Daily Mail described the wardrobe malfunction as an “unfortunate but all too familiar turn for Tara,” which suggests that she has not been cleared of her previous “bad girl” label.

Return to the limelight

Tara Reid and Cassandra Scerbo in The Last Sharknado: It's About Time (2018)
The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018). (Photo Credit: The Asylum / Syfy Films / michaella92 / MovieStills DB)

Reid has returned to the limelight and was featured in the Sharknado film series, with the first released in 2013 and the sixth and final installment coming out in 2018.

Reid told Time about her reputation and said that there is actually a side to her that no one gets to see. She said, “Over the years, I’ve built a reputation that isn’t what a movie star is supposed to be like – the way the American media portrays it.” She admitted that no one wants to write or read about that other side.

She also believes that hasn’t been able to drop her younger reputation because she didn’t get married or have children.  “I think, in Hollywood, if you don’t have kids or you’re not married, you’re judged,” she said. “So they still think you’re that party girl from 40 years ago.”

More from us: Roseanne Barr Blames Former Costar Sara Gilbert For the Cancelation of ‘Roseanne’

Sharknado provided Reid with an opportunity to return to the screen, and while she admits that it is a fun and silly film series, she would like to one day to more series roles.

Ryan McLachlan

Ryan McLachlan is a historian and content writer for Hive Media. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Classical Studies and his Master of Arts in History from the University of Western Ontario. Ryan’s research focused on military history, and he is particularly interested in the conflicts fought by the United Kingdom from the Napoleonic Wars to the Falklands War.

Ryan’s other historical interests include naval and maritime history, the history of aviation, the British Empire, and the British Monarchy. He is also interested in the lives of Sir Winston Churchill and Admiral Lord Nelson. Ryan enjoys teaching, reading, writing, and sharing history with anyone who will listen.

In his spare time, he enjoys watching period dramas such as Murdoch Mysteries and Ripper Street and also enjoys reading classical literature and Shakespeare. He also plays football and is an afternoon tea connoisseur.