Playboy model Dani Mathers said was ‘relieved’ today after avoiding jail for the body-shaming of a naked 70-year-old woman in an LA gym.
Instead, the 30-year-old model has agreed to carry out 30 days of community labor in the form of graffiti removal for posting a nude photo of an elderly woman on Snapchat.
Mathers, accused of flouting privacy laws, sat in the public gallery for the pre-trial hearing at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Dani Mathers arrived to court for her pretrial hearing on Wednesday and accepted a plea deal of three years probation and 30 days of graffiti removal for violating privacy laws
‘Dani’s willing to accept the mistake ‘: Mathers’ friend, Melissa Yanez, said she was willing to accept responsibility for the Snapchat scandal, even if it meant serving jail time
Before proceedings began her defense attorneys Tom Mesereau and Dana Cole struck a plea deal with prosecution counsel in a 20-minute closed-door meeting held in chambers with Judge Gustavo N. Sztraicher.
When the defense team reemerged they took Mathers, who was with a male companion, into a side room to discuss the case.
On return Judge Sztraicher said that Mathers had advised the court that she intended to change her plea to ‘no contest’. She had previously pled not guilty.
The model had an option of serving 45 days in jail or agree to 30 days community labor.
She is now placed on three years probation and will be booked and finger-printed at her local police department before beginning the community labor. The graffiti removal can be completed one day per week.
Mathers looked solemn in court as she accepted the plea deal of three years probation and 30 days of graffiti removal in Los Angeles
In court Wednesday, Mathers pleaded no contest to misdemeanor invasion of privacy
The judge said: ‘You may perform 30 days of community labor in the form of graffiti removal, you are not to possess any device, including a cell phone…in any place where persons are in a state of undress or have an expectation of privacy.’
He added that Mathers must stay 100 yards away from the victim and pay her $60 in restitution.
She also must stay away from all LA Fitness premises.
The judge ordered Mathers to destroy all images of the victim and said she must not post any photos of people on social media without their express permission, barring family members.
‘Dani is very relieved that this is over, she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, she won’t do a day in jail for that and she wants to get on with her life.
Dani Mathers is accused of violating privacy laws after posting a photo of a naked senior changing on Snapchat. California law that prohibits the secret recording or photographing of an ‘identifiable person’ in a home, changing room or tanning booth without their consent
Mathers appeared in court with lawyer Tom Mesereau, who is best known for getting Michael Jackson acquitted for child molestation charges
‘She really apologizes from the bottom of her heart what happened she never thought this would come out like this, she never intended to hurt anyone.
‘She will do her one day a week of graffiti removal for 30 days and get this behind her.’
He added that she is very ‘remorseful’ about what happened, and ‘regrets’ it, saying: ‘It got out of control.’
Mesereau blamed the City Attorney for ‘exploiting’ the case. ‘If you want to talk about damage to a victim, talk to the City Attorney,’ he said.
When asked is Mathers had apologized to the victim, he said: ‘She apologized right away, its right there on the internet, she’s very remorseful, she feels terrible.’
Flanked by her two lawyers, Mathers was dressed smartly in a charcoal grey trouser suit, black blouse and with her blonde hair down, and appeared tense but emotionless during the brief proceedings.
When asked if she understood the judges ruling, Mathers replied: ‘Yes your honor.’
Mathers was named Playboy Playmate of the Year in 2015. Her friend Melissa Yanez claims the body-shaming Snapchat was out of character
‘I’m sorry for what I did’: Mathers publicly apologized in the wake of the backlash. Yanez said this did not quell the cruel comments directed towards the Playmate
Mathers sparked widespread outrage after she shared the naked photo on Snapchat last July with the derisive caption: ‘If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.’
The picture which caused the controversy showed an unsuspecting senior as she was getting changed in the women’s locker room at a branch of LA Fitness in Los Angeles.
Mathers also appeared in the image, smirking with her headphones on.
She faced a global backlash for her actions, and was lambasted for body shaming the woman, who has not been identified.
The model was charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy under a California law that prohibits the secret recording or photographing of an ‘identifiable person’ in a home, changing room or tanning booth without the subject’s consent.
Mathers has been working on getting a real estate license and feared the California Bureau of Real Estate will reject her application if she is convicted.
Mathers did eventually apologize for body-shaming the elderly gym member and deleted her social media accounts in July last year.
She tweeted: ‘I’m sorry for what I did… I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing.’
Earlier this week DailyMail.com revealed that Mathers had told her best friend that she is prepared to serve prison time over the incident.
The Snapchat left little question that Mathers (pictured with Yanez) was criticizing the senior’s appearance. She captioned the photo ‘If I can’t unsee this, you can’t unsee this’
The former radio show presenter has suffered ‘dark days’ and terrible depression over the furor surrounding the post said friend Melissa Yanez.
Yanez has known Mathers since they were toddlers and lived on the same street in Ventura, California and says the ordeal has taken its toll on the model.
She also revealed the pin-up believes that going to jail may be the only way to clear her name and achieve forgiveness.
‘Dani’s willing to accept the mistake and wants to deal with it,’ she said.
‘She is worried, anyone would be. But at the same time, she doesn’t want this to haunt her for her whole life.
‘If that’s what she has to do, that’s what she has to do.’