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Kal Penn isn't the only one: Other celebrity muggings

Dan Rather high above New York's mean streets in 2006. (Kathy Willens/AP)

If it can happen to Kumar, it can happen to anyone: Actor-turned-Obama--staffer Kal Penn was robbed at gunpoint near Logan Circle last week, but history had already shown that celebrity is no protection against the common street mugging:

  • Paul and Linda McCartney, 1973, held up in Nigeria by knife-wielding bandits who took their "Band on the Run" demo tapes. Result: "We managed to put all that aggression into the music," he said.

  • Dan Rather, 1986, attacked on NYC's Park Avenue by a man who shouted at him, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" Result: A new catchphrase and an R.E.M. song.

  • Ray Davies, 2004, shot in the leg after he chased the New Orleans mugger who swiped his girlfriend's bag. Result: The Kinks frontman wrote some songs in the hospital and finished a long-neglected album.

  • Barbara Bush, 2006, lost her purse to a thief while dining with twin Jenna in a Buenos Aires restaurant. Result: Embarrassment for the Secret Service team watching them.

  • Mika Brzezinski, 2008, confronted by a man outside the downtown Ritz-Carlton who demanded money; she gave him $6. Result: MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough wouldn't stop talking about it on their show. ("Joe!")

  • Kevin Bacon, 2009, had his BlackBerry swiped in an NYC subway station. Result: New York Post headline, "Subway Thief Smokes Bacon."

By The Reliable Source  |  April 26, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
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