City Councilman Chris Monzel has publicly apologized to Emmy-winning actor Rip Torn for using his mug shot in a campaign ad on crime.
Monzel, who won re-election last November, said a black bar covered Torn’s eyes in the TV ad. The photo, available on Internet sites, came from Torn’s 2006 drunken-driving arrest in North Salem, N.Y.
Monzel said the ad was meant to depict a generic criminal and discuss his efforts to “get sexual predators off the streets.” He said the ad wasn’t meant to have anything to do with the 77-year-old actor.
However, someone was able to identify Torn, and the actor was notified, Monzel said. Monzel quickly pulled the ad from local TV and cable stations.
Torn demanded an apology. On Tuesday, Monzel placed an ad in The Cincinnati Enquirer describing Torn as an award-winning actor who had served honorably in the Army. The wording was negotiated over months, Monzel said.
“That’s what this is about,” he said. “And I apologize for it. I want to take full responsibility.”
The Enquirer said efforts to reach Torn were unsuccessful.
Torn pleaded guilty last year to driving while impaired in North Salem, which is about 60 miles north of New York City. He agreed to pay $380 and give up his license for 90 days.
He won an Emmy for his role on “The Larry Sanders Show.” His screen credits include the “Men in Black” movies.