See the update on Page 2 with Bree Walker's explanation for her arrest and that mugshot.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 20, 1:13 P.M.: Many will have no idea what I'm talking about, but do any of you older timers from SoCal remember back in the '90s, when KCBS news anchors Bree Walker and Jim Lampley would look lovingly into one another's eyes? Turned out our lying eyes weren't wrong, they were having an affair while married to other people, and they would go on to get hitched and have one of Walker's two children.
She was a beauty back then. But now …
Here is her mugshot after being arrested early Wednesday for suspected drunken driving in Anaheim:
Yikes! Bree, the Cat Lady called; she would like her face back.
Walker was pulled over around 12:30 a.m. near South Beach Boulevard and West Ball Road, where the 61-year-old Venice resident had allegedly run a red light. She could not produce a driver's license, according to Anaheim Police, and after an officer claimed to have smelled alcohol on her breath, she was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
Her vehicle was impounded but not before a pit bull was removed and turned over to animal-control officers.
Looking at her older photo, and knowing she came up as a television newswoman in San Diego, one wonders if she inspired Christina Applegate's character in Anchorman. You'll recall Applegate's Veronica Corningstone made fictional local news history by becoming San Diego's first female co-anchor. After joining KGTV in 1980, Walker (born Patricia Lynn Nelson) rose from consumer advocacy reporter to a member of San Diego's first female anchor team, joining Carol LeBeau at the desk for the 11 p.m. newscast.
Walker's most memorable day on the air was likely when she revealed to KGTV viewers that she had been wearing a pair of glove-like prosthetic hands to conceal her having been born with ectrodactyly, a rare genetic condition that caused her fingers and toes to be fused together.
Both of Walker's children, including the son she had with "Lamps," also live with ectrodactyly. She and HBO's longtime ringside announcer divorced in 1999.
I don't recall having read or heard much about Walker after then, but she went on to become a progressive talk radio announcer whose The Bree Walker Show was heard on LA's Air America station. I didn't even know LA had a … oh, never mind.
In 2007, Walker famously purchased "Camp Casey," a 5-acre property anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan bought across from George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, for $87,000. Sheehan sold the property as part of ending her anti-war activities, and Walker preserved it as a peace memorial and garden. Which is very Venice, come to think of it.
Police say Walker promised to come back to Anaheim for her court date.
UPDATE, FEB. 26, 6 A.M.: Bree Walker reportedly says she became disoriented on her way home from her son's San Diego residence when she was pulled over in Anaheim, that she resisted looking at her now infamous police mugshot even after it was widely published, and that when she finally checked it out she concluded it resembled a certain rock band's leader singer.
Speaking from her living room in Venice with Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian, Walker said she was driving north on the 5 freeway with her 5-year-old pit bull Petey just after midnight last Wednesday, Feb. 19, when she missed the turnoff for the 405 freeway. She was trying to make her way to the 405 when an Anaheim cop pulled over her Fiat 500c known as the "Peteymobile" for allegedly running a red light.
Police say Walker appeared disheveled and had an empty vodka bottle in her car. She would fail a field sobriety test, refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer, be cuffed, spend the night in jail, watch her pet go off to the animal shelter and have her Fiat impounded.
Walker says she has not been the subject of such an intense media storm since her affair with co-KCBS anchorman Jim Lampley became public–while both were married to others. Abcarian:
She said she had been afraid to look at her mugshot.
"Is it that bad?" she asked. An ex-boyfriend, she said, had called her to inform her that "in the world of mugshots, you are up there with Gary Busey."
Her response: "That's why you're an ex-boyfriend."
Walker denied what others have speculated, that her lips are surgically enhanced, but she did agree that in the Anaheim PD mugshot she resembles another puffy-lipped celebrity.
She stared at the photo.
"That looks like me, unhappy," she said. And then, not entirely incorrectly, she added, "I look like Steven Tyler."
She turns 61 today. Happy birthday, Bree!