Dani Mathers wishes she could take back that "stupid choice" she made in July 2016 when she surreptitiously took a Snapchat image of a naked woman and mocked her physical appearance. The fallout has been nothing short of "relentless," but the former Playboy Playmate of the Year knows that she's to blame.
She also says the incident, the legal ramifications and the public vitriol directed at her have been a "blessing in disguise."
In May 2017, Dani was sentenced to three years' probation and 30 days of community service after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy.
"There is no doubt I regret that stupid choice," she told Us Weekly this week. "I am sorry that it happened to this woman. But I am not sorry about what happened to me. I would not have this push to create positivity and try to change people's minds about how they act without thinking. My life flipped upside down. But it's a blessing in disguise."
The model told the mag that she's learned a lot about herself and her personal choices due to that Snapchat taken in a LA Fitness locker room. Above all, she said she's realized that you still have a responsibility when on social media. She took a year off of social media while he case was unfolding -- she was also fired from her radio hosting job and is banned for life at the gym and its franchises.
"People have been relentless. That's a lot of why I had to step away. All I want to do is defend myself," she said. "But if I spend every moment defending myself, I wouldn't be getting anything positive done. I have to block it out. I can't feed my mind and my heart with negativity."
She has yet to speak to the 70-year-old woman who became a part of the story by no fault of her own. Asked what Dani would say to the woman if she could speak to her, the Playmate said, "A million things have run through my mind. But bottom line is: 'I'm so sorry.' I never intended to hurt her. There was a lot of pain caused and I think she would like to put this behind her, as would I."
She later told Us, "When you're told how much of a monster you are, it pushes you to look inside. I don't ever want to be someone spitting hate. That's really what I've learned."
"I also gained a lot of empathy and learned that everybody, at some point, has judged a person," she continued. "Going through this past year and making it to the other side, I know I can handle almost anything."