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- American actress and model
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Denise Richards is in hot water after sharing a maskless selfie on a recent flight.
On Sunday, the 50-year-old shared a photo of herself to Instagram stories while flying, acknowledging that she chose not to wear a face mask in favour of something "thicker."
"On a jet plane. Anyone that is upset I [am] not wearing a mask I'm hiding under a hoody and a huge winter coat," she captioned the photo for her more than 1.3 million followers. "Please. Thicker than any mask!"
The photo and message quickly sparked controversy online, with many followers calling Richards "entitled" for not wearing a face covering.
"She should be banned from flying," one follower wrote.
"If you don’t want to wear a mask fly private or travel a different way. Entitled much?" another added.
"So, they let her get on the plane with a coat over her head? No, she had a mask and chose to take it off," someone else speculated.
"This is so disgusting. Wearing a mask is literally the easiest thing in the world," one follower wrote. "Just do it. Stop playing with people's health and safety because you wanna stand your ground and breathe in other people's air? Like, if you so desperately want to share spit particles with people instead of putting a mask on, fly private."
"White privilege at its finest," someone added. "So tone-deaf."
On Tuesday, a source reportedly close to Richards revealed that the former model "realized it wasn't right" to share the photo.
"Denise realized it wasn't the right thing to do to post the picture. In reality, she wore her mask the entire time except when she was taking sips of water," they told People. "She believes in masks, and she really does follow the rules."
An insider also told people the star is not "anti-mask" but admitted that it was "strange" to share the photo online.
"She's ready to admit she was an idiot to post the photo!" they said.
According to People, Richards took her mask down "for a second to relax and drink water" and then posted the photo. While the post was meant to be "tongue-in-cheek" it was apparent that "people did not think it was funny."