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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 06/14/2007

The Art of the Celebrity Courtroom Sketch

By Liz Kelly

Beauty, it has been said, is in the eye of the beholder and when that beholder is someone who lives and breathes celebrity news 24/7, beauty comes in unexpected forms. One starts to appreciate, for instance, the twisted world reflected by 14 over at Gallery of the Absurd and begins to annoy one's spouse by framing particularly striking tabloid covers and hanging them in areas of the house that are not my closet.

Portrait of Paris Hilton as a young lawbreaker. (AP)

So I was instantly charmed when last week's Paris Hilton courtroom sketches began to move on the wires. Stripped down to the bare essentials, courtroom artist Mona Shafer Edwards captured a frail, waiflike urchin surprised to find herself de-blinged, de-entouraged and decidedly un-hot. In the photo at left, we see Hilton in a new light: reduced to wearing polar fleece and trying to hide her face with her freakishly large hand.

Another sketch reveals an introspective moment for Michael Jackson during his 2005 child molestation trial -- his humbled demeanor and fresh-faced visage achieve a stark beauty not to be found in actual pictures of the erstwhile king of pop.

Michael Jackson, circa 2005. (AP)

Scanning a collection of celebrity courtroom sketches posted at Gone Hollywood, we are treated to a rogues gallery of celebrity justice: Anna Nicole Smith fights for her late husband's fortune, Courtney Love strikes a sassy pose for the judge, Woody Allen looks characteristically uncomfortable, Martha Stewart seems to gaze out of the courtroom at us and Naomi Campbell, inexplicably, looks like Rick James.

All I'm saying is if you're stuck for a birthday present for someone who might like this sort of thing, well, I've still got room on my coffee table for this.

By Liz Kelly  | June 14, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Celebritology 101, Hollyweird, Pop Culture  
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