Playmate Dani Mathers charged for taking body-shaming gym photo
In July, former Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers took a photo of a naked 70-year-old woman — whom she did not know — in a gym locker room and posted it to social media with insulting comments about the woman’s body.
Los Angeles prosecutors have now charged Mathers with a crime and she could face up to six months in jail, along with a $1,000 fine.
WATCH: Dani Mathers fired from radio job, banned from gyms after posting body-shaming photo
The city attorney’s office said Friday that Mathers faces a misdemeanour count of invasion of privacy.
“Body-shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences,” said Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer in a statement. “It mocks and stigmatizes its victims, tearing down self-respect and perpetuating the harmful idea that our unique physical appearances should be compared to air-brushed notions of ‘perfect.’ What really matters is our character and humanity. While body-shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one’s privacy to accomplish it can be. And we shouldn’t tolerate that.”
On July 14, Mathers shared an image of a completely oblivious woman in a gym changing room on Snapchat, along with a photo of herself with a shocked expression. It has the caption “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either!”
Mathers deleted the image almost immediately and was quick to apologize after the photo sparked a huge backlash.
“I just want to acknowledge a photo that I accidentally posted,” said Mathers in a Snapchat video. “It was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do. I chose to do what I do for a living because I love the female body and I know body shaming is wrong, that’s not what I’m about and this is not the type of person I am.”
“The photo was taken as part of a personal conversation with a girlfriend and because I am new to Snapchat I didn’t realize I had posted it, and that was a huge mistake,” she continued. “I know I have upset a lot of people out there but please believe me this is not the type of person that I am. I have never done this before and I will never do this again, you have my word.”
Her quick apology wasn’t enough, because Mathers was swiftly fired from her radio show on L.A.’s KLOS station and was banned from all LA Fitness gyms across the U.S. A spokesperson told TMZ that Mathers “is not permitted back at any club, ever.”
The gym reported the posting to police, and in September the unidentified photo victim went to the LAPD, eventually leading to Friday’s charge against Mathers.
Mathers has hired lawyer Thomas Meserau to represent her; in the past, he’s represented huge names in Hollywood like Michael Jackson, Robert Blake and Mike Tyson.
She is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 28.
Mathers was Playmate of the Year in 2015.
With files from The Associated PressFollow @CJancelewicz
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