Back in 2010, a Florida jail deputy snapped a routine booking photo of Meagan Simmons, who had been arrested on a DUI charge. The Tampa Bay Times says the mugshot turned out like a glamour shot, and it launched a thousand memes. “Guilty of taking my breath away.” “This is what a model inmate looks like.” “Arrested for breaking and entering your heart.” On countless websites, Simmons, 28, became known as the “attractive convict.” Last year, the mother of four tweeted “look who made the cut!” when her photo was part of an Inside Edition special about hot mugshots. She did interviews with the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.
Last week, she indicated she’s had enough publicity. In a lawsuit, Simmons accused the background check website InstantCheckmate.com of using her picture for commercial and advertising purposes, without compensating her or even getting her permission. “At the end of the day, this is actually about intellectual property,” Matthew Crist said. “If someone is going to use your image they need to pay you for it.” He likened the issue to Colgate using Tom Cruise’s image to sell toothpaste without his permission. Interest in the photo simmered in August 2012, when a compilation of images were posted to men’s interest site the Chive under the headline: “Who knew mugshots could be so attractive.”