Playboy model Dani Mathers pleads no contest in gym ‘body-shaming’ photo case
Prosecutors say Dani Mathers secretly photographed a 70-year-old woman in the nude while she was in the shower area of a Los Angeles fitness center.
Playboy model Dani Mathers pleaded no contest Wednesday to invasion of privacy after she secretly photographed a naked, 70-year-old woman in an LA Fitness shower area and posted it on social media with a disparaging remark.
After pleading to the misdemeanor charge, the 2015 Playmate of the Year was ordered to perform 30 days of graffiti removal services, according to Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney. She also must serve three years’ probation.
Mathers’ attorney, Dana Cole, said she has never known the victim’s identity, but she has publicly apologized to her. Mathers previously pleaded not guilty in the case.
“I think she wanted to be done with this and accept responsibility for what occurred,” he said.
Mathers, 30, is accused of posting an image of the woman on her Snapchat social media account on July 13 with a mocking caption about the woman’s appearance, saying, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”
The photograph and her comments sparked a widespread public outcry, and critics accused her of body-shaming the woman.
Mathers later apologized for taking a photo of the woman in the locker room shower and posting it online.
“That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do,” Mathers 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.
But her apology came too late.
Soon after the photograph was posted, the Los Angeles Police Department received a report of “illegal distribution” of the image and launched an investigation into Mathers’ actions.
Mathers was banned from all LA Fitness locations after the incident.
“Her behavior is appalling and puts every member at risk of losing their privacy,” said Jill Greuling, the health club’s executive vice president of operations. “Our written rules are very clear: Cellphone usage and photography are prohibited in the locker rooms. This is not only our rule, but common decency.”
In a statement issued after Mathers’ sentence, City Atty. Mike Feuer said the message is clear that “body shaming is not tolerated in the city of Los Angeles.”
“The issues that surround body shaming can be devastating — not only to daughters and mothers, but also sons and fathers, LGBT people, to a trans kid who might be struggling with identity, to people who are disabled,” he said.
Already a subscriber? Thank you for your support. If you are not, please consider subscribing today. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 99 cents for the first four weeks.
2:20 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from City Atty. Mike Feuer.
11:30 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from Dani Mathers’ attorney.
This article was originally published at 11:20 a.m.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.