‘Hot mug shot’ mom Meagan Simmons sues company for using the photo that went viral

03/04/2014 11:41 AM

03/04/2014 11:54 AM

You’ve probably seen her mug shot somewhere on the Internet lately, and that’s just not cool anymore with Meagan Simmons. She’s the face of the “hot mug shot” meme making the rounds.

Orange jumpsuit. Glassy eyes. Funny taglines like “Arrested For Breaking and Entering Your Heart” and “Guilty For Taking My Breath Away.”

Yeah, you’ve seen it.

Well, apparently the wrong people have used that mug shot.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Simmons, a 28-year-old mother of four, is suing InstantCheckmate.com

, a background check website that used her mug shot in an advertisement with a tagline reading: “Sometimes the cute ones aren't that innocent.”

The now-famous mug shot was taken after Simmons was arrested for DUI in July 2010, a charge that was later dropped to reckless driving.

At first Simmons, who has said she was embarrassed by her arrest, apparently thought it was kind of funny that her mug shot had gone viral. She did interviews about it, scored Twitter and Instagram followers because of it and tweeted that she’d “made the cut” after Inside Edition included it in a round-up of hot mug shots.

But she’s not happy with Instant Checkmate. She claims that the website used the photo for commercial purposes without her permission and did not pay her.

It’s her face, her name and she owns both, argues her lawyer. She’s suing for an undisclosed amount of money and a legal injunction to stop the company from using the image.

“At the end of the day, this is actually about intellectual property," her attorney, Matthew Crist, told the Tampa Bay Times. “If someone is going to use your image, they need to pay you for it.”


Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service