John Mayer Mug Shot Leads To Media Tussle

Singer offered to donate $25,000 to charity if TMZ found photo from 2001, but Smoking Gun apparently beat them to the punch.

It’s not often that you hear about celebrities getting playful with their mug shots, but it’s just been that kind of week.
[artist id=”1220799″]John Mayer[/artist]’s mug shot from 2001 has become the subject of a rather bizarre media tussle.

It all started earlier this week, when Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump was arrested in Los Angeles for driving without a valid license, and his mug shot made the rounds. In apparent commiseration, John Mayer took to Twitter and revealed that back in 2001 he was arrested for the same offense as Stump, noting that “It’s the lamest answer to the question ’why you in here?’ ” He then took it a step further by tweeting:

“Challenge: if Harvey Levin at TMZ can produce my mug shot, I will donate 25k to the charity of his choice.”

TMZ then said the Mayer mug shot was “on its way.” However, at 3:03 p.m. on Thursday (August 27) TheSmokingGun.com beat TMZ to the punch, claiming to have found the photo first:

“While he technically made this offer, via Twitter, to the gossip site TMZ, we figured it applied to any other bounty hunters. Like The Smoking Gun, for example. So, as seen below, here’s Mayer’s mug shot. The photo was snapped after the performer was collared by Georgia cops in May 2001 for speeding and driving without a license. To those keeping score, TSG was the first site to post Mayer’s mug shot, which we did today at 3:03 PM.”

TMZ.com also claims to have been the first Web site to locate the picture, also claiming to have posted the photo at 3:03 p.m.

Several minutes later, TheSmokingGun.com updated its entry with the following addendum:

“A post to our Twitter page (tsgnews) noting that ’Mayer owes us $25,000′ was also made at 3:03 p.m. For its part, TMZ posted the photo at 3:10 p.m., with the site’s customary ’EXCLUSIVE’ claim. While the TMZ item carries a backdated ’posted’ time of 3:03 p.m., a check of the item’s comments section shows that the first comment was recorded at, not surprisingly, 3:10 p.m., moments after the photo appeared on the gossip site. Both sites received the image from Ashanti Moore, an administrative assistant with the Atlanta Department of Corrections, who e-mailed the photo to TMZ (but only after it first appeared on TSG).”

So what does a 2001 mug shot of John Mayer mean? A lot to a charity, if Mayer comes through with his pledge!

A rep for Mayer had no comment when contacted by MTV News about the matter.