Former Baywatch actress Donna D’Errico has accused airport security for singling her out for a full body scan because of her looks.
D’Errico, who is also a former Playboy Playmate, says she was humiliated by a Transport Security Administration guard at Los Angeles Airport who she claimed “smirked” after she was ordered to undergo the search.
The 42-year-old actress said: “After the search, I noticed that the male TSA agent who had pulled me out of line was smiling and whispering with two other TSA agents and glancing at me. I was outraged.”
“I’m not sure whether they had recognised me or not. However, it is my personal belief that they pulled me aside because they thought I was attractive.
“My boyfriend looks much more like a terrorist than either I or my son do, and he went through security with no problems,” she added.
D’Errico starred alongside David Hasselhoff in ‘Baywatch’ for three seasons at the height of its success. She was a cover girl Playmate in 1995.
She said she wasn’t offered the alternative of a body search when she left Los Angeles Airport en route to see a sick relative in Pittsburgh.
She told AOL News: “I must have overlooked the clause in both my Playboy and ‘Baywatch’ contracts stating that once appearing in that magazine, or on that show, I would forever be subject to being seen naked live and in person by anyone, at anytime, under any conditions, whether I agree to it or not, and for free.”
“I posed for Playboy 15 years ago. I was on ‘Baywatch’ 13 years ago. Both of those were controlled environments, with proper lighting, makeup, etc., and were jobs.
“I contractually agreed to do both of those jobs. I could have stopped or changed my mind at any time.
“None of those conditions are present when TSA decides for you that you will consent to being scanned or felt up, or you simply won’t be allowed your constitutional right to travel from one place to another freely,” she added.
“This could, and I’m sure does, happen to other women. It isn’t right to hide behind the veil of security and safety in order to take advantage of women, or even men for that matter, so that you can see them naked.
“It’s a misuse of power and authority, and as much a personal violation as a Peeping Tom. The difference is that Peeping Toms can have charges pressed against them.’
The public outburst is the latest from disgruntled travelers unhappy about their privacy being trampled by stricter security practices – including the full body scans and pat-downs – to foil terrorists at the nation’s airports.”
However the US federal safety chiefs have so far remain unmoved by complaints about the scans, arguing that the tougher measures are necessary to keep air passengers safe.
In repsonse to D’Errico’s claim, TSA spokewoman Nico Melendez said that “passengers are selected at random and not because they’re celebrities.”