Rip Torn

Lisa O'Connor/

Here's a change Rip Torn can believe in.

An Ohio politician has issued a public mea culpa to the Emmy winner for using Torn's altered mug shot from a 2006 DUI arrest in a campaign ad.

Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Monzel took out a full-page spread in the Cincinnati Enquirer saying he regretted his use of the photo in a commercial that aired on local television and cable last fall during his successful run for reelection. The ad's theme: keeping sexual predators off the streets.

"Purely as a result of an error by my campaign, an unauthorized altered image of Mr. Torn was inadvertantly shown during that commercial. I never intended to imply any improper or illegal conduct by Mr. Torn," Monzel said.

"I wish to correct any implication that Mr. Torn has ever had any involvement in the conduct discussed in the commercial, and I apologize to Mr. Torn for any distress this may have caused him," he concluded.

In the ad, Monzel's crew had covered Torn's mug shot with a black bar. But someone apparently recognized the actor and informed Torn's camp, which demanded a public apology. Fearing a lawsuit, Monzel immediately took the ad off the air and spent the next few months negotiating with the actor's lawyers on the wording of the statement.

Torn was busted for drunken driving in December 2006 after colliding with a tractor trailer in North Salem, N.Y. The Men in Black star subsequently pleaded guilty in exchange for paying a $380 fine and having his license suspended for 90 days.

Reps for Torn were not available for comment.

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