Model and Playboy Playmate of the Year 2015 Dani Mathers has gotten a lot of media coverage over the last year or so, and most of it has been very negative. The reason? Thirty-year-old Mathers was thrust into the national media spotlight in July 2016 after she took photograph of an unidentified nude 70-year-old woman without her consent in an LA Fitness gym locker room.
Dani Mathers subsequently posted the intrusive and shocking photo on Snapchat, along with the spiteful comment, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.”
To make matters worse for Mathers, and to implicate her in the viral body shaming incident even further, the Playboy model included a personal selfie alongside her unwitting target. In her selfie, she was covering her mouth in feigned horror of the elderly woman’s naked body.
Social media didn’t take kindly to Dani Mathers’ sense of humor, and she was immediately rebuked by fans and critics alike. Hordes of people took to social media demanding that Mathers face some kind of consequences for her blatant and cruel act of body shaming. LA Fitness stepped up to the plate first, issuing a damning public statement and banning Dani Mathers from all of its locations for her unapologetic and senseless invasion of privacy.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 24, 2017
According to LA Fitness, Dani Mathers had broken established gym rules which prohibit using cell phones and cameras in locker rooms. Washington Times reports that the gym also chastised Mathers for violating the rules of “common decency” with her photo and Snapchat activities. In addition to booting Dani Mathers from its facilities for life, LA Fitness also reported the body shaming incident to legal authorities.
“Her behavior is appalling and puts every member’s privacy at risk. We have handled this internally and also notified the police.”
Los Angeles investigators looked into the locker room photo-taking, and ultimately charged Dani Mathers with misdemeanor invasion of privacy last November. For months, it appeared that the case against Mathers may indeed go to trial; if convicted she faced potential jail time over the indiscreet and criminal photo sharing. However, on May 24, Dani Mathers pleaded no contest to the single charge misdemeanor charge, reports People. The prosecutor appeared to have little sympathy for Mathers during her court appearance.
“Body shaming can devastate its subject. People are mocked, they’re humiliated and in ways they can never fully get back.”
Truth is great job for the older lady working out! Shame on Dani Mathers. Not as pretty on the outside when you have an ugly heart.
— Hillbilly Hamlet (@mishamlet) June 2, 2017
Body shaming is just the tip of the iceberg. The guy who photographed Erin Andrews got 2-1/2 yrs. This sentence is ridiculous.
— 25th Amendment (@IntrovertMama) May 31, 2017
Restitution maybe but this will NEVER be forgotten I tell you that! Someone says her name, they will just call her the "Elderly Body Shamer"
— Rachael O'Brian (@rachaelobrian_o) May 25, 2017
She is NOT a victim. NOT a victim. She needs to keep her camera out of the locker room at the gym. Stop feeling sorry for her. NOT a victim.
— California Girl (@dlharv) May 31, 2017
lol, how the heck is she a 'beautiful person'? What kind of 'beautiful person' would do what she did?
— Double Happiness (@d0ublehappiness) May 25, 2017
Mathers managed to avoid jail time with her plea. Instead, she was sentenced to three years probation and 30 days of “community labor.” That labor has been widely reported to primarily consist of graffiti removal, and as Fox News reports, Dani Mathers was given a choice between doing the work or spending 45 days in jail.
She also reportedly had to compensate the victim by way of $60 restitution.
According to the terms of her probation, Mathers is restricted from taking photos of anyone or posting them online without their express permission.
Even though Dani Mathers’ legal troubles seem to be all but behind her now that she’s had her day in court, the fallout from her body shaming, privacy-invading photo sharing is far from over. According to Mathers, the aftermath of the highly publicized viral situation has resulted in her being forced to “hide out” from her critics.
“To hide out at my mother’s house at age 30 because of something I’ve done — it just felt really low.”
Mathers opened up about her post-body shaming life during Wednesday episode of ABC’s Good Morning America, and she admitted that her current situation is an ironic form of poetic justice or even karmic balancing.
“I had lost my privacy after taking privacy from someone else.”
Dani Mathers claims that, in addition to becoming something of a social pariah, the fallout from her thoughtless body shaming debacle has even resulted in death threats.
During her Good Morning America appearance, Mathers also took a moment to apologize to her victim, but not before claiming that she never meant for the photo to go public. According to Dani, she had intended to send the offending image to a friend. And she never meant to break the the law.
“My intention was to reply to the conversation I was having with my friend. I know the difference between right and wrong and I chose wrong.”
The former Playmate of the Year said that she hopes that her victim, whom she’s never met, could find it in her heart to forgive her for her thoughtless actions. Mathers also expressed a wish that the unwitting 70-year-old can “move on and move forward with her life.”
“…and not feel judged or that she what she was doing was being ridiculed, because it had nothing to do with that and I’m so sorry.”
What do you think of Dani Mathers’ apology and personal revelations? Do you believe that she’s sincerely remorseful for what she did, or do you think that Mathers is just sorry she got caught? Do you have more sympathy for the Playboy model knowing that the situation resulted in threats on her life? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Reed Saxon/AP Images]