Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers — who was accused of body-shaming a gymgoer by posting a nude locker room photo of her on Snapchat — pleaded not guilty to invasion-of-privacy charges on Monday, November 28, via her attorney Thomas Mesereau.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mathers, 29, faces a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy after she secretly snapped a photo of a 70-year-old woman changing at an LA Fitness facility this past July.
In addition to sharing the photo, Mathers included the comment, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” Not long after posting the pic, the model issued an apology, insisting that the Snapchat was never meant to be shared publicly and that she only meant to send it to a friend.
“I know that body-shaming is wrong,” the statement read. “That is not the type of person I am.”
Outside the courtroom on Monday, Mathers’ lawyer Mesereau told reporters that the former Playmate of the Year regrets her behavior and is remorseful for her actions. However, he asserts that his client didn’t do anything illegal.
“She never tried to invade anyone’s privacy and never tried to violate any laws,” Mesereau said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As previously reported, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office determined Mathers’ social media mockery to be criminal and charged her with a misdemeanor on November 4. The decision is an unprecedented one; most charges of invasion of privacy involve peeping Toms and individuals who use hidden cameras to take indecent photos of women. In Mathers' case, her intention did not appear to be sexual.
Not long after pressing charges, City Attorney Mike Feuer said that he hoped Mathers’ legal troubles might serve as a warning to other bullies. "While body-shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one's privacy to accomplish it can be," he said. "And we shouldn’t tolerate that."
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