The artist responsible for less-than-flattering Denver courtroom sketches of Taylor Swift from her recent Denver lawsuit faced widespread ridicule, but it seems he is most definitely not alone in being mocked.
Indeed, he is not the first and won’t be the last courtroom sketch artist to turn in a very questionable portrait of a celebrity in court.
Many high profile stars have fallen foul of the discipline described as a ‘misunderstood art’, most infamously Tom Brady, who found his all-American features wildly distorted by his court sketch during the 2015 ‘Deflategate’ proceedings.
But from the good such as Taylor, who was triumphant in her groping lawsuit this week, to the bad, such as Bill Cosby, the celebrities featured below must have all found themselves staring at their portrait and thinking, is this REALLY what I look like?
Taylor Swift – 2017
Taylor Swift is drawn in the courtroom by Jeff Kandyba. Kandyba said: ‘I’m always drawing people in my head and they always look way better in my head than they do on paper’
Taylor Swift is appearing in court for a lawsuit she filed against former DJ David Mueller, who she claims grabbed her under her skirt during a meet and greet photo op in 2013. The judge ruled in her favor on August 14
No cameras are allowed in the courtroom. Sketches by Kandyba (above) are being ridiculed online because they look very little like the famous pop star
During her high profile legal battle that was fought last week and was successfully concluded this week in Denver, the courtroom sketches from Taylor Swift’s sexual assault trial were being widely mocked widely online.
Swift appeared in federal court for a sexual assault lawsuit she filed against former DJ David Mueller after he allegedly groped her during a backstage photo op in 2013. The judge ruled in her favor on August 14.
Cameras were not allowed in the Denver courtroom so sketch artist Jeff Kandyba was tasked with covering the proceedings.
He told Fox 31 Denver: ‘I’m always drawing people in my head and they always look way better in my head than they do on paper.’
‘A person like Taylor Swift, who is very pretty – has perfectly proportioned dimensions on the face – is actually much harder [to sketch],’ he said.
A drawing of Swift on the witness stand captures her likeness quite well compared to some of the other drawings from the trial. The right photograph was taken at the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Tom Brady – 2015
Two years ago, sketches of Tom Brady in court for ‘Deflategate’ made the handsome athlete look monstrous.
The sketch attracted such opprobrium that the artist behind the bizarre drawing of Tom Brady spoke out just as the internet overflowed with memes mocking her depiction.
‘I don’t tend to flatter people and make them look beautiful,’ Jane Rosenberg maintained before she later relented and addressed the ‘controversy’ over the Patriots star.
‘I apologize to Tom Brady for not making him as good-looking as he is.’
The ‘Deflategate’ controversy surrounded claims the New England Patriots used under-inflated balls during their victory against the Indianapolis Colts during the 2014-2015 playoffs. Brady was suspended for four games and his team was fined $1million.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was sketched in court during the 2015 ‘Deflategate’ trial. The alarming image went viral
Bill Cosby – 2017
Bill Cosby has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 50 women in incidents dating back to the 1960s. Most of the alleged acts occurred outside of the statute of limitations.
In a 2005 civil lawsuit that was unsealed this year, Cosby admitted to using the illegal substance Quaaludes.
The comedic actor was charged with aggravated indecent assault in 2015. The case ended in a mistrial in June 2017.
Sketches from inside the courtroom show an older-looking Cosby with a scrunched expression that looks unrealistic…until it’s put next to real photos of the actor making a very similar face.
Comedic actor Bill Cosby’s face is aged significantly in a court sketch during his aggravated indecent assault trial this year. The proceedings ended in a mistrial in June when the jury gridlocked
Woody Allen – 2001
Woody Allen sued his former producing partner and close friend Jean Doumanian and her production company, Sweetland Films, in 2001 accusing her of cheating him of earnings on eight films and seeking $12 million he said he was owed.
Doumanian accused Allen of being ‘self-indulgent’ and ‘fiscally irresponsible’ in his filmmaking.
The suit ended in a settlement in 2002 but no details were released in regards to how much money was offered.
The 5’5″ 81-year-old film-maker’s courtroom sketch makes him look much larger in stature than he does in person by giving the petite man a large head. It also looks like he put on a little too much blush.
Woody Allen sued his former producing partner in 2001 for cheating him of earnings on eight films and seeking $12 million he said he was owed. The 5’5″ film-maker’s courtroom sketch makes him look much larger in stature than he does in person
Paris Hilton – 2009
Hotel heiress Paris Hilton was sued for $8.3million by Worldwide Entertainment Group for not adequately promoting her National Lampoon film Pledge This! in 2009.
The lawsuit claimed that she violated her contract by ignoring requests by producers to appear on talk shows or do magazine interviews to promote the movie. The court ruled in Hilton’s favor.
Courtroom drawings make the dainty socialite appear stocky and masculine with mismatched eyes.
A drawing of hotel heiress Paris Hilton shows her in court when she sued for failing to promote her movie Pledge This! in 2009. The court ruled in her favor but her courtroom sketch was less of a success. The striking heiress is pictured on the right at a hearing for cocaine possession in 2010
Jude Law – 2014
British actor Jude Law testified in a phone-hacking trial against the now-closed News of the World in 2014.
He said he was unaware that the publication was paying one of his family members for information about the star’s private life.
Among the leaked information was a story about Law’s then-girlfriend Sienna Miller having an affair with James Bond star Daniel Craig.
Sketches from the trial show the star looking emaciated and almost elfish with comically long eyelashes and large pointed ears.
A sketch shows Jude Law testifying in a phone-hacking trial against News of the World after one of his family members was paid to release sensitive information about the British actor
Rosie O’Donnell – 2002
In 2002 Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing sued Rosie O’Donnell for breach of contract claiming that the TV personality drastically changed her persona and abandoned her 18-month-old magazine that was supposedly ‘on the road to success’.
O’Donnell filed a counter-suit claiming that the publisher mounted a ‘hostile takeover’ of the magazine.
The famously-aggressive former talk show host looks unfortunately bug-eyed in her courtroom sketch from the trial.
In 2002 a publisher sued Rosie O’Donnell for breach of contract after she drastically changed her persona and abandoned her 18-month-old magazine. O’Donnell counter-sued, claiming that the publisher mounted a ‘hostile takeover’ of the magazine
Martha Stewart – 2004
Multi-millionaire homemaker Martha Stewart went to jail in 2004 for insider trading after taking advice from a doctor working with an experimental drug and selling her $200,000 stock in the pharmaceutical company ImClone in 2001.
Stewart served a five-month sentence followed by five months of house arrest and two years of probation.
Prior to her prison sentence, the now-76-year-old produced and starred in the show Martha Stewart Living from 1991-2004 and published a magazine with the same title.
Sketches of the chef in the courtroom show her with blue eyes that are too close-set. The dissatisfied expression is fitting for a woman facing a prison sentence when all she wanted was to make a quick buck.
Martha Stewart is pictured in court when on trial for insider trading in 1999. Stewart served five months in prison, five months of house arrest and two years of probation. The homemaker is pictured right at a holiday party in 2016
Liza Minnelli – 2004
Liza Minnelli’s divorce from David Gest in 2004 made headlines thanks to a few important details.
Gest claimed that Minnelli carried the herpes virus but failed to tell him. He feared he had been infected by her after unprotected sex during the marriage, and went on to seek medical attention for a ‘rash on his body and other symptoms’.
The couple’s wedding in 2002 was nothing short of a spectacle as Minnelli was reportedly spaced out on pills and Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson played the roles of Maid of Honor and Best Man.
Court sketches of Minnelli resemble pretty much anyone in you’d find at a church Bingo night rather than the Academy Award-winning actress. The image also shows her with a bizarrely pink hand.
Liza Minnelli’s divorce from David Gest in 2004 made headlines thanks to a few important details, including allegations that she had herpes and didn’t disclose it to Gest, who visited a doctor because of a rash
Michael Jackson – 2005
This courtroom sketch of Michael Jackson dates from when he was charged with a 10-count indictment for molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2005.
After several months in court, Jackson was found not guilty on all counts.
An artist rendering shows the one-time King of Pop as the indictment was read at the beginning of the trial.
The multi-Grammy-winning cultural icon changed his appearance drastically throughout his lifetime, although allegedly there was no plastic surgery involved.
A colorful courtroom sketch outrageously emphasizes Jackson’s nose, cheekbones and eyebrows. The final product really does match his face at the time.
Michael Jackson is shown in a court sketch during his 2005 child molestation trial. The record-breaking singer changed his appearance drastically throughout his lifetime, and the artist did a decent job of capturing his look at the time
Martin Shkreli – 2015
‘Pharma bro’ hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli became widely hated across the country in 2015 when as the CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical he raised the price of an antiparasitic medication from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
The decision made people call him the ‘most hated man in America’.
Shkreli was indicted for securities fraud in August 2017. He is still awaiting sentencing.
A courtroom sketch of the 34-year-old at an his arraignment in 2015 added years to his boyish face by sharpening his jaw line. The sketch improbably looks more like Ben Affleck than it does Shkreli.
Martin Shkreli is sketched at his arraignment for fraud charges in December 2015. He earned the title of ‘most hated man in America’ when he raised the price of an antiparasitic from $13.50 to $750. In August he was indicted for securities fraud
Kendall Jenner – 2016
Kendall Jenner was granted a permanent restraining order against Shavaughn McKenzie in 2016.
The 25-year-old man was accused of following her into her driveway and repeatedly knocked on her car window in the Hollywood Hills on August 14.
She explained that she came home and found McKenzie sitting in front of her driveway, with his head tucked between his knees.
Jenner also said she recognized McKenzie as the same person who had accosted her twice while she was driving outside a condo she owned in Westwood.
A sketch artist drew Jenner as she testified in court. The then-20-year-old model is shown with a lot of blush on her cheeks and lighter features than she has in photographs.
Kendall Jenner is sketched as she testifies in court against a man she accused of following her into her driveway and repeatedly knocking on her car window
Jay Z – 2004
Jay Z appeared in court in 2004 when R Kelly sued him for breach of contract.
The two rappers were set to co-headline the Best of Both Worlds tour to promote their 2002 joint album bearing the same name. Kelly left the tour early and then sued Jay Z for $75million, alleging that he was sabotaged.
A sketch of Jay Z in the courtroom misses the mark by shrinking his ordinarily huge nose and famously pillowy lips down to a more normal size.
Jay Z appeared in court in 2004 when R Kelly sued him for breach of contract. A sketch of Jay Z in the courtroom misses the mark by shrinking his nose and famously large lips
Lindsay Lohan – 2011
Former child-star Lindsay Lohan is no stranger to the courtroom. The actress had 23 arrests between 2007 and 2012 for crimes such as drunk driving, cocaine possession, violating probation and stealing a diamond necklace.
In a drawing of Lohan being escorted out of the courtroom after violating her probation in 2011 the actress is missing nearly all of her famous curves and looks like any other blonde B-list celebrity out there.
A drawing of Linsday Lohan in court for violating her probation barely looks like the actress. Lohan, pictured right at the 2011 probation hearing, is no stranger to the courtroom, but the vague left sketch could be matched to many blonde celebrities
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt – 2002
Actress Jennifer Aniston sued a photographer who climbed a tree and snapped topless photos of her in her backyard in 2002.
The court awarded the ‘Friends’ star $550,000 in damages.
Courtroom sketches show her and then-husband Brad Pitt, but neither of the two blockbuster actors are immediately recognizable, especially since Pitt was trying out a mountain-man look at the time.
Jennifer Aniston sued a photographer who took topless shots of her in 2002. Then-husband Brad Pitt joined her in court. The couple is pictured right at the premiere of The Bourne Identity in 2002
Chris Brown – 2009
Rapper Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault after he beat up his then-girlfriend Rihanna in his car in 2009.
Brown accepted a plea deal of community labor, five years’ probation and domestic violence counseling.
Sketches of the then-20-year-old accurately capture the sad expression that comes with a felony assault charge, but a sharp jawline that makes him look older than he is.
Sketches from inside the courtroom in 2009 almost mirror Brown’s expression caught on camera, but the rapper’s jawline in the drawing doesn’t match that of the then 20-year-old in person
Rihanna – 2009
R&B artist Rihanna appeared in court when her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown was on trial for assaulting her in his car. Rihanna did not testify but prosecutors used the information that she gave to police following the incident.
By the time she attended the hearing, Rihanna’s face had healed from the assault. Courtroom sketches dramatically lengthened her neck but got her pixie haircut spot on.
Rihanna appeared in court when her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in 2009. Pictures of the singer with bruises all over her face surfaced on the Internet but they had healed by the time a sketch artist did the drawing above
Anthony Weiner – 2011
Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s legal woes began with ‘Weinergate’ in 2011 when he sent a sexually explicit photo of himself to a 21-year-old girl via Twitter. It came out that the married politician had been communicating with explicitly with several women both before and after he was married.
In September 2016, Daily Mail exclusively reported that Weiner was carrying on a relationship with a 15-year-old girl for several months.
In May of this year, Weiner pleaded guilty to sexting a minor. He told the judge: ‘I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse.’
A sketch captures the moment Weiner broke down in tears as he spoke to he judge. It almost looks as if his nose is dripping off with his tears.
Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is drawn at a 2017 hearing when he pleaded guilty to sexting a 15-year-old girl. The politician’s career has been mired in scandal since 2011 when he sent an explicit photo to a 21-year-old girl over Twitter
Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs – 2001
In 2001 Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs was acquitted of five counts of possessing guns and bribery. The charges came after a 1999 shooting in a Manhattan night club that injured three people.
The rapper has gone by several names during his career, and once said that this shooting encouraged him to go by ‘P. Diddy’ instead of ‘Puff Daddy’ so he could put the ordeal behind him. He reverted back to ‘Puff Daddy’ in 2014.
A courtroom sketch of the rapper hilariously warped his head and gave him a big second chin under his goatee.
An unflattering sketch of Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs in court shows the rapper before he was acquitted of five counts of possessing guns and bribery after a 1999 night club shooting. Combs appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers in June (right)
Lil’ Kim – 2005
In 2005 Lil’ Kim was found guilty of lying in her testimony before a grand jury about a shootout among rival rappers on Feb. 25, 2001, in front of Hot 97 (WQHT-FM) radio station in New York City.
The rapper was sentenced to a year in prison and slapped with a $50K fine.
A drawing of Lil’ Kim in court made her heart-shaped face into an oval and drastically arched her eyebrows. Kim told the judge she was remorseful over her previous lie, but her face in the sketch doesn’t appear to show this.
In 2005 Lil’ Kim was found guilty of lying in her testimony before a grand jury about a shootout among rival rappers in front of a radio station in New York City. She was sentenced to a year in prison and slapped with a $50K fine
Mike Tyson – 2003
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was charged with assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct in connection with a hotel brawl with two fans seeking autographs in Brooklyn in 2003.
Tyson pleaded not guilty and ultimately accepted a plea deal involving counselling and community service.
A drawing of the boxer in court manages to copy his iconic face tattoo…but that’s about the only resemblance the sketch shares with Tyson.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was charged with assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct after a hotel brawl with two fans seeking autographs in 2003. He pleaded not guilty and ultimately accepted a plea deal
Michael Vick – 2007
In 2007 football player Michael Vick pleaded guilty on dog-fighting conspiracy charges that included gambling and killing pitbulls.
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his controversial actions for which he has since apologized and has begun appearing as a pundit for the NFL.
This sketch of Vick wearing a black and white jumpsuit in the courtroom makes his head look more square than it is in reality, but his intense gaze was drawn nearly perfectly.
Michael Vick is shown in the courtroom during his dog-fighting conspiracy trial in 2007. The former Atlanta Hawks quarterback, pictured right leaving the courthouse, was sentenced to 23 months in prison
Courtney Love – 2004
Courtney Love was no stranger to legal proceedings between 2003 and 2004 when she was arrested for disorderly conduct and charged with two counts of felony drug possession, accused of assaulting a fan at a concert and charged with assault with a deadly weapon all in the span of a few months.
She released her first solo single in 2004.
The sketch artist in the courtroom managed to recreate Love’s disheveled look on paper by copying her wild hairdo. The only thing the sketch is missing is Love’s slightly-unhinged gaze.
Courtney Love is sketched and photographed in court in 2004. The singer battled substance abuse while facing several criminal charges between 2003 and 2004
Uma Thurman – 2008
In 2008 actress Uma Thurman testified against the man who was stalking her, Jack Jordan.
The courtroom sketch of Thurman hardly resembles the actress – looking tired, sick and haunted – who tried to keep a low profile during the trial. In fact it could easily be mistaken as a sketch from Martha Stewart’s trial, see above.
Uma Thurman is shown as she testifies against her stalker Jack Jordan in court in 2008. A photograph (right) shows her keeping a low profile as she arrives at the courthouse
El Chapo – 2017
Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman had been his country’s most wanted man for years. He is set to go on trial for drug trafficking and conspiracy charges in April 2018.
On August 14 Guzman appeared at a hearing in Brooklyn.
A sketch captured his small eyes but otherwise looks more like your mild next door neighbor than a king pin who’s wanted for $14million, especially since his mustache was shaved off.
Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was sketched at a hearing in Brooklyn on August 14. Guzman has been his country’s most wanted man for years. His trial is scheduled for April 2018
Jerry Sandusky – 2011
Retired Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 charges of rape and child abuse in 2011.
The 73-year-old was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a non-profit charity serving Pennsylvania’s underprivileged and at-risk youth. A 2011 grand jury investigation revealed that he molested young boys in the program. Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period from 1994 to 2009.
A courtroom sketch captures the pedophile coach’s face but his arms and head are disproportional to his body.
Retired Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was drawn testifying in court when he was on trial for 52 counts of sexual abuse. Sandusky is now serving 30 to 60 years in prison
James Holmes – 2013
In 2012, James Holmes opened fire in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 70.
Holmes was found guilty of all 165 charges brought against him in 2015 including 24 counts of first-degree murder and 140 counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Drawings of Holmes in court attempted to capture the killer’s intense gaze and flaming orange hair. One shows him sticking his tongue out with wings flying out of the side of his head looking like a clownish devil.
A sketch artist attempts to capture James Holmes’s likeness in court. Holmes was convicted of 165 charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder after he opened fire in a Colorado movie theater killing 12 and wounding 70 in 2012
Robert Durst – 2015
Real estate heir Robert Durst is infamous for being suspected of foul play in the murder of three individuals in different states – which were covered in the HBO show, ‘The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst’.
His first wife Kathleen McCormack Durst disappeared in 1982. His neighbor Morris Black was murdered in 2001. Durst was convicted of dismembering his neighbor Morris Black in 2001, but was acquitted of the murder.
In March of 2015 Durst was arrested in New Orleans and extradited to California after being charged with the first-degree murder of his longtime friend Susan Berman in 2001. The trial is set for October.
A sketch of Durst at a hearing in New Orleans was drawn from an awkward angle diagonally behind him, but it does bear some resemblance to the balding man with a suspicious number of murders in his past.
Robert Durst is drawn at a hearing in New Orleans in 2015 before he was extradited to California. Durst is facing a first-degree murder charge for the death of his close family friend Susan Berman in 2001
Reality Winner – 2017
Former federal contractor Reality Winner is accused of taking her classified information about a 2016 Russian cyber-attack home from work and leaking it to the media. Winner pleaded not guilty and her trial is set for October 23.
Sketches of Winner, 25, at a hearing in June stretch her head into a cone shape. She has a pinched expression that one would expect of a government worker finding herself in hot water.
Reality Winner is pictured at a hearing in June regarding allegations that she leaked classified information about a Russian cyberattack. The sketch looks very little like the 25-year-old because of the conic head shape
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page – 2016
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, 68, and guitarist Jimmy Page, 73, were accused of plagiarizing the hit song ‘Stairway to Heaven’ from ‘Taurus’ by Spirit.
The band won the lawsuit in June 2016, but the courtroom sketches were hardly winners, making the two rockers appear more like accountants and older than they are.
Retired Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page appear in court when they were sued for plagiarism for their hit song ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ They won the lawsuit but the courtroom sketches make them look old and haggard
Allen Ginsberg – 1968
The late Allen Ginsberg was one of the leading figures of the 1950s Beat Generation and counterculture.
Ginsberg testified for the defense in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial surrounding anti-Vietnam riots outside of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Ginsberg was involved in initial plans to protest the convention. He claimed that the violence was caused by the police rather than the protesters.
A sketch of Ginsberg on the stand adds several inches to his forehead and the his tie appears to be colored with coffee stains.
A sketch of Alan Ginsberg shows him testifying for the defense in the Chicago Seven case after counterculture riots broke out at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Ginsberg was a famous Jewish poet