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Stranger Things star Winona Ryder was caught shoplifting - here's the unexpected thing she said about it

The confronting experience turned things around for the starlet.

By Jess Pullar
When Winona Ryder was 30, she was arrested for shoplifting at the height of her fame. While the scandal threatened to derail her career, she returned from rockbottom to once again become a globally recognised actress with a worldwide following.
The two scenarios seem worlds apart, but in reality, they couldn't have happened without each other.
As the Stranger Things actress puts it, being caught shoplifting was "the best thing that could have happened", and it's not for the reason you'd expect.

What happened when Winona Ryder was caught shoplifting?

In 2001, Winona was caught on camera stealing thousands of dollars worth of items from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Indeed the young actress reportedly walked off with almost AUD $8,000 worth of designer goods, and was arrested for the feat.
Winona went to court in a six-day trial, where she was found guilty of grand theft and vandalism. She was acquitted on the burglary charge.
She was sentenced to three years probation, 480 of community service and was fined thousands of dollars.
Winona was caught shoplifting in 2001. (Getty)

What has Winona said about the shop lifting?

In the years following the incident, Winona has opened up about the experience to media.
In 2016, Winona spoke to Porter magazine, commenting that the incident "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 that… I just had other interests, frankly."
The shoplifting incident changed things for Winona. (Getty)
The incident sparked a number of concerns from fans around her mental health, and the actress did decide to take a break from Hollywood.
She eventually returned, but her next experience in tinseltown was quite different to her time as an actress in the 1990s, before the shoplifting occurred.
In a revealing chat with Interview Magazine in 2009, Winona revealed that she had been "having trouble" in the lead up to the 2001 shop lifting.
"I think a lot of people think that that is what sort of sent me off in another direction, but I was actually starting to have some trouble a few years before," she said.
"I did come up against what felt like a wall. And with what happened… I really needed the time off, which ended up being a couple of years."
The actress has since returned to the spotlight to huge success. (Getty)
Winona also revealed that the incident was the "best thing that could have happened" in a way, because it made her re-think everything.
"In a weird way, it was almost like the best thing that could have happened because I'd never asked myself the question before of, ''Is it okay if I'm not going to act? Is there anything else?'' because that was all that I really knew."
She explained that her break from Hollywood meant she had space to explore other paths, and led her back to her true passion.
"What happens is that you throw yourself into something else and you say, 'Oh my god, this other thing is what I want to do.' But then some time goes by and, for me, it was this realisation that I still love acting – and that I still wanted to do it," she said.
WATCH: Noah Schnapp on Stranger Things 'mum' Winona Ryder. Story continues after video...

What is Winona Ryder doing now?

Now a leading actress in Netflix's Stranger Things, there's no denying Winona is nailing the acting game.
The show's third season has just premiered on the streaming platform, with her performance in previous seasons being praised by fans.
According to the Daily Mail, Winona has also been dating Scott Mackinlay Hahn, with whom she's been in a relationship with since 2011.
The pair keep a low profile, but they've had some fleeting public appearances together - just last week the pair attended the Netflix show's premiere together.
And with that being said, there's no denying it - Winona has well and truly turned things around, and we couldn't be happier for her!
Winona and Scott couldn't look happier. (Getty)