In May 2012, Patricia Krentcil, commonly known as the “Tanning Mom,” became a media spectacle after being charged with child endangerment for allegedly putting her 5-year-old daughter in a tanning booth. The 45-year-old denied the charges, claiming her daughter got sunburned "the old-fashioned way, by playing outside." There was a flurry of press reports and outrage expressed at the time, and Krentcil got more than her share of 15 minutes of fame. This accusation came a few weeks after the Mayo Clinic announced that one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, melanoma, had increased steadily for young women, and that this was attributed to the increased use of indoor tanning beds. Statistics indicate that consumers using indoor tanning beds have a 74% higher likelihood of developing melanoma.
The charges of child endangerment were dropped in February 2013, after a grand jury refused to indict her based on the evidence provided. However, Krentcil didn’t just fade away from the headlines. In an effort to capitalize on her notoriety, she decided to take her talent to the next level, and in October 2013, she made a cameo appearance in the gay porn film Kings of New York 2.
On a more personal side, Krentcil filed for divorce in November 2013. Her husband, Richard, failed a lie detector test about infidelity on a TV show. Richard appeared hopeful they would work it out, but Krentcil appears to have other plans. The tanning extremist also recorded a pop song, It’s Tan Mom, which gave talk show hosts a lot of fodder but didn’t generate much else.
In January 2014, after a stint in rehab, Tanning Mom attended Howard Stern’s star-studded 60th birthday party and she literally fell down on the red carpet. Krentcil is trying hard to stay in the limelight, but there isn’t much uptake for her antics.
- Grand jury says no indictment for mom in tan salon visit by daughter, 5. CNN website. February 27, 2013. http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/26/justice/new-jersey-tanning-case.
- Landau J. Tan Mom Patricia Krentcil files for divorce over husband’s infidelity test: report. New York Daily News website. November 2, 2013. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/tan-mom-files-divorce-article-1.1504993.
- Tan Mom Patricia Krentcil: from her arrest to her newfound fame. New York Daily News website http://www.nydailynews.com/news/tan-mom-patricia-krentcil-arrest-newfound-fame-gallery-1.1090477.
- Weir SB. “Tanning Mom” case spotlights tanning bed dangers for minors. Yahoo! Shine website. May 3, 2012. https://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/8220-tanning-mom-8221-case-spotlights-tanning-bed-181200178.html.