Body-Shaming Playboy Model's Lawyer Says She Is Being Treated 'Unfairly'
The defense team for the Playboy model who Snapchatted a photograph of a naked gym member in the locker room to mock her body is trying to get her out of jail time. Lawyer Dana Cole said of Dani Mathers, "If anyone is deserving of (diversion) it would be someone like Ms. Mathers who inadvertently, on accident, did a bad thing."
He added, "There was no intent on her part. She pushed the wrong button. She's done everything possible to demonstrate remorse and take it back. Unfortunately in this day and age when you push the button you can't take it back. She should be given a first-time break."
The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office argues that Mathers "should face the consequences of her cruel and criminal act."
Last summer, while at an LA Fitness health club, Mathers decided to Snapchat a female gym member—who is apparently 70 years old—with the caption, "If I can't unsee this then you can't either." After outcry, Mathers quickly claimed it was an "accident" and meant to be "private" and then removed her social media presence.
The victim came forward and Los Angeles authorities charged her with invasion of privacy, a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. At the time, L.A. 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 pleaded not guilty, and her lawyers are saying prosecutors are blocking her from the possibility of a jail-diversion program in order to "make an example of the former Miss May 2014", according to the Daily News. Defense attorney Tom Mesereau said, "They're treating our client in a selective way that I submit is unconstitutional and unfair."
The defense has suggested Mathers simply take counseling and anti-bullying classes and perhaps go to schools to speak about the harmful nature of bullying. There will be a follow up hearing for February 28.
L.A. Fitness banned Mathers from all of its gyms following the incident, with a the company saying, "Her behavior is appalling and puts every member at risk of losing their privacy... Our written rules are very clear: Cellphone usage and photography are prohibited in the locker rooms. This is not only our rule, but common decency."