Shepard Fairey Could Face Jail Time Over Barack Obama ‘Hope’ Poster

By Allen Starbury   /   Published 03/09/12

Shepard FaireyInternationally acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey pleaded guilty in a New York federal court in late February to destroying and fabricating documents in a legal battle with the Associated Press, said reports.

The 42-year-old was reportedly sued by the news service in 2009, claiming his famous "Hope" poster of President Barack Obama was based on one of its photos. He denied the claims, however, saying it was based on a different photo.

Despite previously denying their claims, he admitted guilt in court this week, saying he was wrong and tried to destroying documents and manufacturing others to hide the evidence proving the AP's case.

For it, Fairey was charged with one count of criminal contempt to which he has pleaded guilty.

A year ago, the artist and the AP settled the civil case out of court, but not before the artist had admitted to contempt, which prompted a launch of a criminal investigation that ended last week with Fairey's guilty plea in a New York courtroom.

Fairy could now face up to six months in prison, a year of probation, and a $5,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.