Nick Nolte was wrong about his infamous mugshot, may have hallucinated the whole thing

Senior Editor
12.21.11 9 Comments

Nick Nolte recently

The common misconception about the freak-haired-wild-man photo taken that day is that it was Nolte’s police mug shot. It was not. (He did pose for a mug shot, but that has never leaked.) At the hospital where Nolte was taken for a blood test, a young officer asked him if he could take a Polaroid. “I said, ‘Come on, you don’t really want to ask that, do you?’ ” Nolte recalls. But he did. Nolte figured that the officer had been talking to the others about how this might be worth having, and so Nolte made him agree that, if he posed, the young officer would share any proceeds with his colleagues. “And I let him shoot the Polaroid.”

But a few days after that hit, TheSmokingGun, who were the first to publish the original photo, told a different version of the story:

The photo we published on September 12, 2002–the day after Nolte’s DUI arrest–was provided to us by a California Highway Patrol spokesperson. It is the official mug shot of Nolte that was taken at the Lost Hills sheriff’s station.
The digital image was snapped during the standard booking process. Not by some purported cop supposedly looking to make a quick buck with a Polaroid taken at the hospital. The cinder block wall–a mug shot staple–should have clued GQ into Nolte’s leaky memory. Or even a simple check with the Highway Patrol would have confirmed that the photo provided to us was, in fact, Nolte’s mug shot. [TSG]

I just assume that Nick Nolte was so awesomely high on drugs that in his mind, his mugshot was actually him being asked to pose for a candid shot with some adoring fans. Just like his body cavity search was an over-eager autograph seeker. His mind probably does it all the time as a coping mechanism. “Well sure I shot the heroin. What would you do if a team of blue birds flew in your window carrying a syringe on top of a checkered picnic blanket? I didn’t want to offend them, they sang such beautiful songs.”

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