Nick Nolte Speaks out on 2002 Infamous Arrest Photo

January 17, 2018 Updated: January 17, 2018

Actor Nick Nolte spoke out recently on that infamous mug shot 16 years ago.

Nolte, 76, was arrested for driving under the influence in 2002 on the Pacific Coast Highway near his Malibu home. A photo shows him wearing a Hawaiian shirt and his hair in disarray. It’s become the source of Internet memes and jokes the world over.

“GHB was one substance I ran into that I shouldn’t have messed with,” Nolte told People in a recent interview about his upcoming book, “Rebel.”

“I took GHB prior to going to the gym for a long workout,” the “48 Hours” star wrote in his book, as People reported. “A strong dose made me feel great, yet I knew I was repeating with GHB the addictive cycle I’d been in before.”

GHB, or 4-hydroxybutanoic acid, is an intoxicant and central nervous system depressant. It’s been used as a date-rape drug.

Before his arrest, Nolte said that he had driven to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at a church near his Malibu home. When he got to the church, the drugs began to kick in, and he drove off because he wasn’t in any shape to attend the meeting.

“I was a mess and driving on the Pacific Coast Highway,” he said. “I’m told six drivers called 911 to report a big sedan weaving on the wrong side of the road.”

Nolte was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital for blood tests.

A police officer then asked him to take his photo, to which he agreed. It became the now-infamous image.

“It went viral — my hair wild, my expression unsettling, looking like an asylum inmate out for a lark. In 1992, People magazine had named me the Sexiest Man Alive, and now, 10 years later, I looked to all the world like a madman,” he said.

It was a wake-up call, he said.

“It took thirty days to wean myself off GHB and then I flew home. I was a renewed and fortunate man,” he said.


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