Dani Mathers, the 2015 Playboy Playmate of the Year, pleaded no contest to invasion of privacy Wednesday for secretly photographing an older naked woman in a gym shower last summer.
On July 13, 2016, Mathers posted a Snapchat photo of the woman taking a shower at an L.A. gym. The woman, who was 70, did not know she was being photographed.
“If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either,” mocked Mathers, who also posted a photo of herself with her hand over her mouth as she laughed.
Social media users slammed her for body-shaming the woman and invading her privacy. Mathers said she was new to Snapchat and didn’t realize she had shared publicly what was meant to be a private message.
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Mathers, who is 30, was immediately kicked out of L.A. Fitness and banned from all locations, and lost a longtime radio gig, too. The gym contacted the police after it verified she took the photo.
Said a gym spokesperson at the time: “Her behavior is appalling and puts every member’s privacy at risk.”
Mathers issued an apology on Snapchat, saying it was “absolutely wrong” and explaining that she meant to only share it with a friend.
“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,” she said. “That’s not the type of person that I am.
“I know that I have upset a lot of people out there, but please, please believe me when I say this is not the type of person I am. I’ve never done this before, I will never do this again. You have my word.”
After an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Mathers was charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy. After previously pleading not guilty, she pleaded guilty on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
She was ordered to perform 30 days of graffiti removal around L.A. and must serve three years probation.
“I think she wanted to be done with this and accept responsibility for what occurred,” Mathers’ attorney, Dana Cole, told the Times.
The case was important because it sent a forceful message that “body shaming is not tolerated in the city of Los Angeles,” city attorney Mike Feuer said at a press conference, according to CNN.
“That’s crucial, because every day that picture lives online is another day of humiliation.”
He said he hopes holding Mather accountable will send a message to anyone “contemplating similar behavior.”
The case is being used as an example as California lawmakers work to increase the punishment for people who take and distribute photos or videos with a person’s permission.