A New York-based fitness instructor with very, very famous clientele is in hot water after claiming she was an "educator" in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Feb. 1, Stacey Griffith, a SoulCycle instructor who has taught the likes of Oprah, Kelly Ripa and Brooke Shields, apologized for seemingly jumping the line.
"I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for my recent action in receiving the vaccine," she said in an Instagram post. "I made a terrible error in judgment and for that I am truly sorry."
According to reports, Stacey, who's appeared on a slew of morning shows over the years, presented herself as an "educator" on the sign-in forms.
The morning of her inoculation, the 52-year-old trainer happily posted about "Vaccine Day" on social media.
"Step one of the Moderna magic!! One hour drive to STATEN ISLAND worth every minute! It takes a village," she said in the since-deleted post. "Now I can teach @soulcycle with a little more faith that we're all gonna be OK."
Currently in New York, those eligible for the vaccine include people older than 65, teachers and school staff, in-person college instructors, child care workers, first responders, public transit workers, frontline workers and people working/living in group homeless shelters. Stacey checks none of those boxes.
Before her apology, the fitness guru spoke to The Daily Beast and tried to argue that she is, in fact, an "educator."
"In my profession of health and wellness as a teacher, it's my priority daily to keep my community and their respiratory systems operating at full capacity so they can beat this virus if they are infected by it," she said last week. "I can only teach to them if I am healthy myself."
Stacey also said she "had the same opportunity everyone else has by going online and filling out a questionnaire" and insisted she didn't call in any "favors" or pay money to get the vaccine. At the time — again, before the apology — she maintained that she did nothing wrong and said she took her Instagram post down due to the negativity in the comments section about her getting inoculated while others are still waiting.
"I hate controversy," she said. "It saddens me that people go so dark and mean, I'm really just trying to do the right thing and be safe."
The controversy even caught the attention of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"Doesn't sound like someone who should've gotten vaccinated to me," he said in a press conference. "I don't think someone who shows up and says, 'Hey, I'm a SoulCycle instructor' should have qualified unless there's some other factor there. That should have been caught in the application process."