Justice

Victim of the Former Playboy Model's Body-Shaming Snap is Speaking Out

June 7th 2017

By:
Almie Rose

For the first time since Dani Mathers publicly body-shamed a 70-year-old woman in a gym shower by taking a photo of her on Snapchat, the victim is speaking out.

The former Playboy model was sentenced to three years probation, community service (specifically, cleaning up graffiti), and ordered to pay the victim $60 for a new backpack, as the victim is concerned the backpack in the photo could give away her identity.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has lead the case against Mathers. While the model violated the victim's privacy, which is considered a misdemeanor in California, Feuer has been pushing to make such violations of privacy a law with harsher punishment.

He told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday what the victim has to say. Her name hasn't been made public in order to protect her privacy.

"She has been humiliated," Feuer said.

"She’s relieved that she didn’t have to endure a trial and testify," Feuer continued, "but she was willing to do so." He went on to add:

"She used the word, that it had been 'humiliating.' There’s nothing that exemplifies that more than this: When the outcome of this case was being reached, the topic of restitution came up, and she sought restitution of, like, $60. And people wanted to know afterwards, why? And the answer is, she had to buy a new backpack. Because the photograph depicted her in the shower, her backpack was hanging there, and it was a way people could identify her. She had to replace that with another backpack.

Why does that matter? Because the impact of this incident is irreparable. And it causes harm that will reverberate on and on. Body shaming is inhumane. And it tears down the victim’s self-respect. It has devastating consequences. It stigmatizes victims."

One thing that appears to be the case now is that Ms. Mathers is attempting to portray herself as the victim. She is not the victim. She is the perpetrator.

To elaborate on Feuer's above comment on Mathers playing the victim, she appeared on "Good Morning America" to mourn her lack of privacy in the fallout of this case. "It's taught me a lot about privacy," she said on the show. "I've lost a lot of that myself as well. We've had a lot of paparazzi involved in my family life. I had my privacy taken away after I took someone else's."

She also tweeted she's the target of a "witch hunt" and that Twitter users were being too negative. On June 1, she even tweeted a smiling group photo with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feuer makes another point for Mathers not fully understanding the gravity of the case.

"Ms. Mathers says that she didn’t intend to widely disseminate the photo," he told the Los Angeles Times. "That ignores the fact that she invaded another woman’s privacy by taking a nude photo of her in a gym."

Most of her apologies have rested on apologizing for sending the photo to her Snapchat story, instead of only her friend, as she intended. As Feuer notes, this isn't what she should be apologizing for, at all.

 

A post shared by Dani Mathers (@missdanimathers) on

"I saw Ms. Mathers on 'Good Morning America.' She claims that she’s tried to contact the victim, I presume to apologize," he said, adding, "I will share with you, that surprises the victim, who told me she is unaware of any attempt by Ms. Mathers to reach out to her."

Feuer is focused on his bill SB 784, which he told the Times has passed in the state Senate. "What that bill would do is penalize the distribution of a photo that invades a person’s privacy this way," he explains. "The bill would in addition provide a monetary penalty. It would also provide restitution to enable the victim to obtain whatever assistance is necessary to remove the photo from the Internet, which as you might imagine in this day and age, with social media being so prevalent, is especially important."

[H/T Los Angeles Times]