Months after she was roundly criticized for mocking a 70-year-old woman by posting a nude image to social media, model Dani Mathers, Playboy's 2015 Playmate of the Year, is now facing criminal charges that could result in up to six months in jail.
Mathers, 29, posted the image to Snapchat back in July, captioning her secretly taken photo of a woman in the shower area of an LA Fitness health club with the message, "If I can't unsee this then you can't either."
On the same day she posted the image, Mathers apologized, saying she had meant to send the image in a private conversation on Snapchat rather than to a broad audience.
"That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do. I know that body-shaming is wrong," she said, as member station KPCC reported. "That is not the type of person I am."
Mathers now faces a criminal invasion-of-privacy charge. Announcing his decision to move ahead with the case Friday, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said:
"Body shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences. 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 is scheduled to be arraigned on November 28; if convicted on the invasion of privacy charge, she could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In addition to the criticism she faced over the surreptitiously taken photo — which was posted along with an image of herself laughing — Mathers was fired from Los Angeles radio station KLOS, where she had been a contributor to a morning show.
She was also banned from using facilities run by LA Fitness, which at the time said via Twitter, "It's not just our rule, it's common decency."