updated 05/04/2012 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/04/2012 AT 9:45 AM ET
Patricia Krentcil, the slender, leathery New Jersey mom who’s pleaded not guilty to bringing her 6-year-old daughter into a tanning bed with her, is heatedly lashing out at those who may criticize her look.
“They’re jealous, they’re fat and they’re ugly,” Krentcil, 44, told TMZ, after saying that “there’s somebody out there my whole life who doesn’t like me.”
She agreed with the reporter’s suggestion that she is the victim of a witch hunt, and once again proclaimed her innocence in the matter that has gained national attention.
“I’m a great mother, and I would never do that to my child,” Krentcil said while loading her shopping into a car.
Krentcil’s daughter, 6, apparently showed up to school one day with a sunburn, telling friends she went tanning with her mom. But Krentcil – whose skin is an unnatural shade of dark brown as a result of bronzing under lights – says the whole thing is “preposterous.”