Yes, That Is Nick Nolte's Mug Shot. No Matter What The Addled Actor Tells Gullible Interviewers.
In a new GQ interview, the 70-year-old actor claims that the famous wild-haired photo taken of him following his 2002 arrest was not, in fact, his mug shot. Instead, he claims the photo was actually snapped by a young cop at a hospital where he had been taken for a blood test.
Nolte claims that the officer--carrying a Polaroid camera, no less--asked if he could take a photo. Nolte told writer Chris Heath that he replied, "Come on, you don't really want to ask that, do you?” Nolte, Heath wrote, “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.”
Heath notes that the “common misconception about the freak-haired-wild-man photo taken that day is that it was Nolte's police mug shot.” He adds, with mistaken certainty, “It was not. (He did pose for a mug shot, but that has never leaked.)”
Since TSG is the outfit that first obtained the Nolte photo--obviously one of our prouder moments--the image’s history is one with which we’re rather familiar.
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.