Last July, the Internet openly ridiculed former Playboy playmate Dani Mathers for publishing a photo of an unidentified nude woman on Snapchat and shaming her with the line, “If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either.” Mathers immediately apologized, but the authorities — who began searching for the woman pictured in the Snapchat — determined the model could face up to six months in jail if charges were pursued. Sure enough, Los Angeles police found the victim and she decided to press the matter in earnest.
According to TMZ and the Los Angeles Times, City Attorney Mike Feuer filed criminal charges against Mathers on behalf of the 70-year-old woman she photographed and shamed back in July. Faced with a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy, the Playboy star could face up to six months in jail if convicted.
In a statement release to the press, 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.”
In a series of now-deleted tweets posted during the initial controversy, Mathers apologized for the Snapchat. “There are no words to describe how deeply sorry I am for hurting and offending you all,” she wrote, adding: “I can’t undo this mistake, but I ask your forgiveness.” At the time she claimed the Snapchat, which was sent out to all of her followers in a public message, “Was meant to be a part of a private conversation.”