Dani Mathers, the 2015 Playboy Playmate of the Year, could face jail time for posting a body-shaming Snapchat image of an elderly woman getting changed at a gym in Los Angeles.
LA police have finally tracked down the woman in the image, which Mathers snapped in July, according to TMZ. Reportedly in her 70s, the woman has not been named, but is reportedly keen to see Mathers prosecuted and willing to testify against the 29-year-old model. The website said Mathers could be charged with Dissemination of Private Images, a misdemeanour that carries a maximum sentence of six months behind bars.
Mathers drew widespread criticism after sharing – “accidentally,” she claimed – a photo of the woman naked and showering at a branch of the LA Fitness gym chain. The Playboy Playmate posted the image alongside a selfie in which she is apparently stifling a laugh. The vindictive composition was captioned: “If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either.”
Mathers soon deleted the image and apologised in a video and a series of tweets, claiming she had intended to share the image privately with a friend. “There is no excuse,” she wrote on Twitter. “I understand fully the magnitude of this post that I have hurt a lot of people, women. Body shaming is not okay.” She added: “I’m sorry for what I did... I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing.”
The LAPD opened an investigation and appealed to the woman in the image to come forward. LA Fitness banned Mathers from its facilities for life, with the firm’s executive vice president of operations, Jill Greuling, calling her actions “appalling”. The model was also suspended from her regular slot on KLOS radio’s “Heidi and Frank” show.
Mathers’s lawyer, Tom Mesereau, best known for successfully defending Michael Jackson during the singer’s 2005 child molestation trial, told The Wrap that he hoped the news that the woman had been located and was eager to prosecute was “not correct.” He went on: “Dani Mathers never tried to hurt anyone at any time, and certainly never tried to break any law.”
The Los Angeles City Attorney will now decide whether to take the case forward.
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