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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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