You are here

Busted! Playboy Model Dani Mathers May Face Jail Time for Naked Snapchats of Fellow Gym-Goer

Earlier this summer, Playboy model Dani Mathers secretly took a picture of a naked woman from an LA Fitness locker room. She then posted it to her Snapchat with a highly inappropriate body-shaming comment: "If I can't unsee this, you can't either".

Dani-Mathers-Snapchat.jpg

via YouTube

The backlash against Mathers was swift, and in the days after her tactless (and highly illegal) Snapchat, reactions escalated from angry internet comments to the threat of legal action.

Within days, Mathers had lost her job at a local radio station over the incident, and a petition on Change.org received more than 34,000 signatures asking the LAPD to take legal action against Mathers—and on a strong basis. The petition draws attention to a U.S. Code that calls for a fine or arrest of an individual who "has the intent to capture an image of a private area of an individual without their consent, and knowingly does so under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy."

Like most gyms, LA Fitness prohibits the use of cell phones and photography in their locker rooms, so it's no surprise that the unseemly Snapchat got the 2015 Playboy Playmate of The Year banned from all LA Fitness gyms. A statement from the company to the L.A. Times calls her behavior "appalling...[it] puts every member at risk of losing their privacy."

In an attempt to soothe the situation, Mathers took to Snapchat to issue a public apology and own up to her mistake. "That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do...I know that body-shaming is wrong. That's not the type of person I am." In the video series, she insisted that she meant to send the photo to a friend and only posted it publicly as an honest mistake—but fans have questioned her sincerity—and so does the victim of her horrific offence. 

Four months after the original locker room incident, Los Angles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced his decision to move forward with the case, charging Mathers with criminal invasion of privacy. If convicted, she could be fined $1000 and spend up to six months in jail.

"Body shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences," he said in a statement according to NPR. "It mocks and stigmatizes its victims, tearing down self-respect and perpetuating the harmful idea that our unique physical appearances should be compared to air-brushed notions of perfect."

"What really matters is our character and humanity. While body-shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one's privacy to accomplish it can be. And we shouldn't tolerate that."

Mathers was arraigned on Nov. 28 and according to Buzzfeed, she pleaded not guilty to one count of invasion of privacy. Her first pretrial date has been set for Dec. 21. 

According to TMZ, the police later identified the woman in Mathers' Snapchat—without whom it would have been impossible to take this issue to court. She is apparently in her 70s—and not only is she willing to cooperate with the authorities, but also wants Mathers to pay for what she did.

Can you blame her? Mathers violated her privacy and broke the law doing so. Regardless of her intent, body-shaming—whether it's done privately, between friends, or on social media—supports oppressive attitudes that punish women for their appearance. And that's never okay.

Comments

Add a comment