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‘#TBT With Us’ Podcast: Patricia ‘Tan Mom’ Krentcil Recounts ‘Horrible’ 2012 Arrest: ‘I Felt Bad for My Kids’

In a league of her own. On April 24, 2012, Nutley, New Jersey, resident Patricia Krentcil was arrested and charged with second-degree child endangerment after school authorities alleged she let her 5-year-old daughter Anna bake in a tanning bed. 

“I had to go in front of a grand jury,” Krentcil tells Us today. “They shut the doors and decide if you’re going to jail. I was willing to go to jail because I did not do this.”

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 And though Krentcil spent five days in jail and the grand jury decided not to pursue charges again her, her case, and face, did get a lengthy trial in the court of public opinion where she was swiftly re-named “Tan Mom.”

Patricia Krentcil Tan Mom
Patricia “Tan Mom” Krentcil visits XL Cabaret on August 29, 2012 in New York City. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

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“When the paparazzi are climbing through your window and you can’t move out [of] your home…that was complete insanity, she tells Us about her 2012 experience with instantaneous fame. “First it went on for three months; they just sat outside my door. I couldn’t go out to Starbucks, I couldn’t go out, period.”

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 Now, six years later, Krentcil can still remember “every single second” of the “horrible” ordeal and gets chills when talking to Us about it for our weekly #TBT With Us podcast. She also recalls the way locals and teachers treated her family. “I felt bad for my kids,” she explains. 

Patricia Krentcil
Patricia Krentcil. Courtesy of Patricia Krentcil

Today, she’s a changed woman. Well, sort of. Instead of hitting a tanning bed every day like she used to, she now tans just three times a week. But she’s not tanning less because she’s worried about sun damage – it’s just because she’s “lazy.”  

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Krentcil still doesn’t believe tanning beds are unhealthy: “No, I don’t think so, whatsoever,” she insists. (The FDA tells consumers that UV radiation in tanning devices poses serious health risks.)

Uncensored, fun-loving and occasionally problematic, Krentcil talks to Us about being a parent, dating as “Tan Mom,” turning 50 and offers tips for those wanting to achieve a sun-kissed glow similar to hers.

Listen to the full podcast above for a ton more from “Tan Mom” and be sure to subscribe for weekly updates!