Florida woman with 'hot' mugshot sues for invasion of privacy

Meagan Simmons is known on the Internet as the "attractive convict."
By Evan Bleier   |   Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM  |  Updated Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM   |   Comments

HILLSBOROUGH , Fla., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- After a “hot” mugshot that was snapped of a Florida woman in July 2010 went viral, she became known around the Internet as the "attractive convict."

For a while, Meagan Simmons enjoyed jokes that she was "guilty of taking my breath away” and “arrested for breaking and entering my heart,” and even did interviews with the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.

But the 28-year-old has had enough.

This week, she filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit in Hillsborough County alleging that background check website InstantCheckmate.com is using her picture for commercial purposes without her consent or paying her.

"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."

The photo attached to the lawsuit shows Simmons' mugshot with the caption, "Sometimes the cute ones aren't that innocent,” alongside the Checkmate logo.

"The legal issue is it's your face, and your name. You own it," Crist said. "You can use it, you control it and when someone misappropriates it -- that's when you're violating Florida law."

Simmons’ suit seeks monetary damages and an injunction to prevent further usage of the photo.

[Tampa Bay Times]

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