'Attractive convict' sues website for use of mug shot

Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:30 PM

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A Florida woman known for her mug shot that looks more like a glamour shot has filed a lawsuit against a website for using the image without her permission.

Meagan Simmons was arrested in Florida's Hillsborough County in 2010 for drunken driving, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported.

In 2012, Simmons' mug shot was featured on the men's interest website the Chive with the caption "Who knew mugshots could be so attractive." She later became known as the "attractive convict" when the mug shot was turned into an online meme with captions such as "guilty of taking my breath away," and "this is what a model inmate looks like."

Simmons did interviews with Huffington Post and the Daily Mail in April and said she would pose for Playboy magazine if given the opportunity.

However, Simmons filed a lawsuit this week against InstantCheckmate.com for using her picture for commercial and advertising purposes without her consent or compensating her.

"At the end of the day, this is actually about intellectual property," said Simmons' attorney, Matthew Crist. "If someone is going to use your image, they need to pay you for it."

Crist said the difference between previous uses of Simmons' image were for fun, while InstantCheckmate.com is making money off the mug shot.

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

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