Marcia Cross' trash has become her garbage man's treasure, leaving the "Desperate Housewives" star wishing that she'd bought a shredder.
Nude photos of the 44-year-old actress are now in the hands of a man hired to cart away her trash -- and they may soon be up for sale.
"If someone can be so dumb as to throw something like that away, they just have to suffer the consequences," says agent David Hans Schmidt, who represents the garbage carting company.
Cross' lawyers are threatening to sue. They claim the photos were discarded by accident. But Schmidt is essentially telling them, "finders keepers"
"These photos were not stolen," Schmidt says. "Once my client picked up what she discarded, it belongs to him, and she can't do anything about it."
'I Can Tell You Exactly How Much She's Worth'
The incident is indeed proving embarrassing for the redheaded TV star, who married stockbroker Tom Mahoney in June, and recently announced that she was pregnant with twins.
Schmidt says his client found more than 200 photos of Cross, some showing her taking a shower outdoors. "If you're wondering about Marcia's natural hair color," Schmidt says, "I've got the answer."
Among the other things Cross allegedly threw away -- financial documents. "I can tell you exactly how much she's worth," Schmidt says. "They threw a lot out."
What Schmidt and his client will do with the photos remains to be seen. The agent acknowledges that copyright law would prevent his client from publishing those photos in the United States. But he believes he can sell those photos, perhaps to a buyer outside the United States.
"What a potential buyer would do with those photos would be that person's responsibility," he says.
"I don't want to embarrass Cross, I just want to make money for my client," Schmidt says, indicating that he'd welcome the actress to bid on the photos.
Celebrity Trash: Like Money in the Bank
Indeed, in a time when a half-eaten piece of Justin Timberlake's French toast, can be pulled from a radio station trashcan and sold on eBay for $1,025, celebrities should be careful about anything they throw away.
Today's celebrities are quick to shred anything in fear that Dumpster divers are lurking in their dustbins. It's no wonder why Michael Jackson once installed a landfill at his Neverland Ranch.
"It's a bad practice to just throw things away if you really want privacy," says celebrity bodyguard Don Crutchfield, who has watched over Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, among others.
When Crutchfield was working for Roseanne several years ago, he recalls seeing two guys in a Lincoln Town Car, drove down her street. They pulled over just beyond the house, and Crutchfield thought they were burglars. But before he could break out his bully club, they started dumping trash into the trunk.
"They didn't even have the right trash," Crutchfield said. "They got the address wrong."
Tori Spelling's Report Card, Barbra Steisand's Soup Spoon
If one man ever proved there was a fortune in celebrity filth it was Ward Hall, the granddaddy of Hollywood "garbotologists."
Harrison, who describes himself as a "septuagenarian antique dealer," is actually America's most celebrated dumpster diver. While he's now retired, his exploits are legendary.
Over the years, he sifted through Hollywood's most famous dustbins and pulled out such treasures as Tori Spelling's report card, Milton Berle's empty prescription vials and Jimmy Stewart's Hertz rental car receipt.
"It was a way of life," Harrison said. "Garbage is a window into the soul and it is one of the few ways we can really get to know celebrities."
Harrison has gotten his greasy paws on such gems as Barbra Streisand's cooking utensils, love notes from Joanne Woodward to Paul Newman, Ann Miller's dancing shoes; and Peter Lawford's FBI file.
It all started in 1973, when Harrison came across Cher's trash. "Makeup, birth control, financial records," he said. "It was like I had her whole world in my hands."
Soon, he began shuttling from his Utica, Ind., home to Beverly Hills. In those early days, there was no money in it. It was just an obsession, a way to get close to the stars, some of whom didn't mind his obsession with their garbage. He even married actor Wendell Corey's daughter. The couple met while he was going through her dad's trash, looking for memorabilia from Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.
But the world has grown more garbage-savvy, and less friendly. "These days shredders eat all the fun," Harrison said.
Harrison was honored this year when Louisville's Higgins Maxwell Gallery held a retrospective of his most celebrated trash. While he's sold off part of his collection, the rest is now part of Harvard University's Theater Collection. No word yet on what items the put on display, but it's sure to be a trashy production.
Buck Wolf is ABCNews.com's entertainment producer. The Wolf Files is published on Tuesdays.