LAPD launches investigation after Playboy model posts body-shaming photo secretly shot at L.A. gym

Los Angeles police are investigating after Playboy model Dani Mathers apologized for taking a photo of a woman in a locker room shower at an LA Fitness exercise center and posted it on Snapchat with disparaging comments about the woman’s body.

LAPD Capt. Andrew Neiman said the department received a report of “illegal distribution" of the image and that detectives were looking into the matter. He said LA Fitness officials reported the posting to police. 

Mathers sparked a public backlash after she shared the photo of the naked woman in the gym’s locker room with the caption: “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”

Critics accused Mathers of body-shaming the woman. Others said her actions were illegal.

LA Fitness on Friday responded to Mathers’ action by permanently revoking her membership at all of its health clubs.

“Her behavior is appalling and puts every member at risk of losing their privacy,” said Jill Greuling, the company’s executive vice president of operations. The company would not say at which gym the incident occurred.

Greuling said law enforcement was notified about the matter. 

“Our written rules are very clear: Cellphone usage and photography are prohibited in the locker rooms,” Greuling said. “This is not only our rule, but common decency.”

LA Fitness also issued a statement on Twitter: “Her behavior is appalling & puts members @ risk. We ended membership & she can't use any club. It’s not just our rule, it's common decency.”

The mounting criticism on social media prompted Mather to issue an apology on Snapchat. She apparently deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do,” she said. “I know that body-shaming is wrong. That is not the type of person I am.”

She said the photo was meant to be sent as a private message, but was posted publicly.

Critics said Mather’s message was not much of an apology.

The LAPD’s West division sexual assault section is investigating.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes,com

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UPDATES:

July 17, 11:20 a.m.: This article has been updated with a statement on Twitter from LA Fitness. 

5:23 p.m.: This post has been updated with more details about the LAPD investigation.

The first version of this post was published on July 16 at 11:30 a.m.

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