LEESBURG, Fla. — A Leesburg woman and her attorney are questioning a health club's "judgement free" zone policy.
For the past 18 months, the former member, who asked not to be identified, said she faithfully worked out at a Planet Fitness in Leesburg.
That's until a Saturday in May when she entered the locker room and saw a man standing at the mirror, applying makeup.
“Thought maybe, possibly he had the wrong locker room,” she told Eyewitness news in her first television interview since the incident.
The woman said the person didn't answer when she asked him why he was there, so she complained to the front desk.
She said she was told that person identifies as a woman and can use the locker room.
“It's not about being transgender. It's about a man in the locker room,” she said. "He never told me he was transgender. I did not know. All I could see was there was a man in the locker room. He did not identify himself as transgender."
She said she waited an hour so she could have privacy.
When she left, she said the member followed her out and into the parking lot.
The woman’s husband was waiting in the car. “I saw him walking then I saw her running, then I saw him running after her.”
The other member also called 911 and told the dispatcher, “I’ve been sexually harassed.”
Three days later, the member received a cancellation notice from Planet Fitness, stating she had violated a specific clause in the gym's policy of “judging.”
“I did not judge anybody. I just did not feel comfortable with a man in the locker room,” she said. "I feel like my rights were violated and we're only hearing about his right being violated as a transgender."
Her attorney said he believes the whole situation could have been avoided if Plant Fitness was upfront about its locker room policy.
“This is a situation of privacy and safety and common sense needs to be followed here, let alone the law,” said the woman’s attorney, Mat Staver.
Staver sent Planet Fitness a demand letter asking to reinstate his client's membership and make changes to membership and locker room policies to prevent "outright discrimination."
“We're not going to just walk away and have this go on. It’s wrong and needs to be corrected. And we hope that Planet Fitness does the right thing," he said.
Staver said Planet Fitness responded to the letter, which was due Thursday, and asked to extend it until August 10.
The woman said Planet Fitness never called and asked for her side of the story.
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