(CBS/AP) NEWARK, N.J. - Patricia Krentcil, the deeply-tanned New Jersey mother accused of causing skin burns to her six-year-old daughter by taking her into a tanning booth, blasted her critics in a videotaped interview with TMZ and claimed the allegations are lies.
"I'm innocent and it's proven... I would never -- never -- put my daughter in a tanning booth. We go out shopping. That's what we do," Krentcil told TMZ on Thursday as she was entering a car. "Any mother that makes an accusation about me is not a mother, because I'm a great mother and I would never do that to my child."
Krentcil, whose skin has a deep bronze color from regular visits to the tanning salon, faces a second-degree child endangerment charge. Through her attorney, she pleaded not guilty in Newark Municipal Court on Wednesday morning. Krentcil is now free on $2,500 cash bond.
When asked by a TMZ reporter if she considered the case to be a witch hunt, Krentcil replied: "Yes. Yes. There's somebody out there on my whole life that doesn't like me because they're jealous, they're fat and they're ugly."
Police in Nutley told The Nutley Sun newspaper they were called to the child's school April 24 because the kindergartner was in pain from a "pretty severe sunburn."
Earlier in the week, Krentcil told The Associated Press that her daughter, who was 5 at the time of the alleged incident in mid-April and has since turned 6, got sunburned by being outside on an unseasonably warm day. She said her daughter, however, had mentioned to officials when she complained of itching that she had been to a tanning salon with her mother.
The owner of City Tropics Salon in Nutley said employees who were there that day told him the girl remained outside with her father and brother and didn't go into the tanning booth while Krentcil was inside. New Jersey state law bars anyone under 14 from using a tanning salon.
Though the state's child welfare agency is monitoring the family, the child is still living at home with her mother. Krentcil is scheduled to make her next court appearance on Friday.