Activist Phoenix Feeley Describes Prison Ordeal On Facebook

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)  — A Manhattan woman is on top once again.

Phoenix Feeley is free from jail after she refused to pay fines for going topless on a New Jersey beach.

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Feeley left the Monmouth County Jail on Wednesday. She was sentenced on Aug. 8 for refusing to pay an $816 fine.

Feeley was in the infirmary because she had staged a hunger strike, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cynthia Scott told the Asbury Park Press.

Feeley was fined for sunbathing topless in Spring Lake and for dropping her top after her release in 2008.

An appeals court dismissed her argument that the town’s public nudity ordinance discriminated against women because men are permitted to appear topless.

The following is an excerpt of what Feeley posted on’s Facebook page: “To the anonymous donator who offered to pay my fines, to the strangers who sent me mail, to my friends who sent their support, to the protestors who set off fire works in front of the jail Saturday (which was my only entertainment), thank you.”

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“Nine days naked in a filthy cell in lock down, on a hunger strike, not allowed visitors, mail, phone calls, or anything besides a couple of blankets and a tiny window to the outside world while on 24 hour video surveillance was a new experience that I am happy is over and wouldn’t have been able to live thru without your love.”

Feeley received a $29,000 settlement in 2007 after she was charged briefly with indecent exposure in New York City in 2005.

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