Americans love their famous people. And we love it even more when they screw up. A little celebrity schadenfreude helps make the day go by, and that's why we've bookmarked The Smoking Gun's collection of police mug shots of the rich and famous --- or sometimes just infamous --- at www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/index.html.
They're all here: athletes, actors, musicians, and wannabes arrested for drug possession or assault and battery or driving under the influence (sometimes all three). Most of the pics feature the stars with definitive "oh, shit" looks on their faces. But others offer more entertaining dividends. To see what Hollywood's castoffs look like sans makeup and after a rough night, click on former Baywatch babe YasmineBleeth, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, or erstwhile kiddie star MacauleyCulkin, caught with unprescribed prescription drugs prior to his recent indie comeback.
Some of the celebs seem unfazed by their run-ins with the law. Rocker Jack White, pundit Rush Limbaugh, and disgraced legislator Tom DeLay work the camera, possibly mistaking the term "mug shot" for "publicity shot." Others look downright pitiful, like poor Growing Pains star Tracey Gold, who clearly needed a hug in September 2004 after rolling her SUV with her family inside (alas, she was a little drunk at the time).
The real treasures are the mug shots so juicy they beg to be posted as your wallpaper. Wynona Judd is a personal favorite, her cockeyed smile perhaps the result of being busted at twice Tennessee's legal blood alcohol level. It's tough to beat Michael Jackson's gaunt, over-eyelinered photo from his 2003 booking on charges of child molestation. But the best have to be the hair-raising photos of Nick Nolte and James Brown. Want to keep your kids off drink and drugs? Give 'em one look at these two hot messes.