Playmate Dani Mathers pleads not guilty in gym photo privacy case
A Playboy model who acknowledged taking a photo of a naked, 70-year-old woman in a locker room and posting it on social media with insulting comments about the woman’s body pleaded not guilty Monday to a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy.
Defendant Dani Mathers was not in court when her attorney entered the plea on her behalf, City News Service reported. She was not required to attend.
Outside the courtroom, defense attorney Tom Mesereau said Mathers “very much regrets” what happened.
“She apologized for her behavior and we’re looking forward to resolving this case in a very fair manner,” he said.
The 29-year-old Mathers faced widespread criticism after she shared the photo on Snapchat in July with the caption: “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” She later apologized and deleted her social media accounts.
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The gym, LA Fitness, reported the posting to police and revoked Mathers’ membership.
If convicted, Mathers could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. A pretrial hearing was set for Dec. 21.
Detectives began investigating after the LAPD received a report of “illegal distribution” of the image, police Capt. Andrew Neiman said after the photo became public.
“Her behavior is appalling and puts every member at risk of losing their privacy,” Jill Greuling, an LA Fitness executive vice president, said at the time.
The person in the photo was identified only by her age and it was not clear if she knew she was being photographed.
Mathers said in July that she accidentally posted the photo publicly.
“That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do,” she said in an online video. “I know that body-shaming is wrong. That is not the type of person I am.”
Mathers was Playboy’s Miss May in 2014.
© 2016 The Canadian Press