LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Playboy model pleaded not guilty Monday to a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a photo of a nude 70-year-old woman in the shower of a Playa Vista gym locker and posting it on social media.
Dani Mathers, the 29-year-old 2015 Playboy Playmate of the Year, has since been banned from L.A. Fitness gyms, faces up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine if convicted, according to the City Attorney’s Office. She did not appear in court, and she is also not required to attend the pretrial hearing that was set for Dec. 21.
Outside the courtroom, her attorney Thomas Mesearau reiterated that his client was sorry.
“She very much regrets what happened,” Mesereau said. “She apologized for her behavior and we’re looking forward to resolving this case in a very fair manner.”
Mathers was roundly criticized online after the photo appeared on her Snapchat account in July. The picture showed the naked woman from behind, with Mathers’ head turned away from the camera and a message that read, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”
“Body shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “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,” he said. “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.”
Shortly after the photo was posted, Mathers apologized, writing on her Twitter account, “I’m sorry for what I did. I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing.”
In another post, she wrote, “This was a huge mistake and I’m so sorry. I understand that this was wrong and I will do everything in my power to show you.” In another, she indicated that she did not mean to post the photo publicly, only send it to a friend.
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