Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers, who body-shamed a fellow gymgoer with a photo she shared via Snapchat in July, was hit with criminal charges for her actions in court on Friday, November 4.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has determined the former model’s alleged actions to be criminal, and have charged her with one misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy. The decision is an unprecedented one; most charges of invasion of privacy involve peeping Toms and people who use hidden cameras to take suggestive photos of women. In Mathers’ case, her intention did not appear to be sexual, but mocking.
City Attorney Mike Feuer said Friday that pressing charges against the model would send a message 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.”
In July, Mathers, 29, shared a picture of a nude 70-year-old woman in a locker room at an LA Fitness location, with the caption: “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” The former Playmate of the Year later added a picture of herself covering her mouth and laughing.
Mathers received a huge flood of backlash for her mocking photo and caption, and subsequently posted an apology video to Snapchat. “I just wanted to acknowledge a photo that I accidentally posted on Snapchat earlier today and let you guys know that that was absolutely wrong, and not what I meant to do,” she said. “I have chosen to do what I do for a living because I love the female body, and I know that body-shaming is wrong and that’s not what I’m about, that’s not the type of person that I am.”
Despite her remorse, however, the fitness chain banned the model from all its locations, and Mathers’ bosses at KLOS 95.5’s “Heidi and Frank” radio show fired her.
Mathers immediately made her Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts private following her damning Snapchat post, though her Facebook remains active. (Her last post is dated July 3, prior to the incident.)
The model’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, told the Times Friday that his client did not do anything illegal. “I am disappointed that Dani Mathers was charged with any violation,” he said. “She never tried to invade anyone’s privacy and never tried to violate any laws.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!