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Playboy model accused of disrespecting sacred Maori peak during nude photo shoot angers critics more with her defense @jaylenecook_/Instagram

Playboy model Jaylene Cook is firing back at critics who say she disrespected a sacred Maori mountain in New Zealand by posing nude on it, but she seems to have only drawn more ire in doing so.

The wrangle began last week after the 25-year-old, a native New Zealander herself, was photographed nude on top of Mount Taranaki, a peak considered sacred by the local Maori people, then posted the image online. Residents and Maori academics blasted the photograph as “disrespectful” and “inappropriate.”

But Cook did much more harm than good in defending her actions. After Instagram user @maorimermaid called her out for posing nude on a indigenous sacred site, she mistakenly disputed whether the Maori people were even indigenous (they are).

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Mount Taranaki is considered sacred because it’s believed to be the burial ground of the Maori tribe’s ancestors, and climbing to the top is seen as inappropriate and only done rarely for ceremonial purposes.

Cook, nonetheless, said she was surprised at all the negative attention her photo, which to this point has garnered almost 28,000 likes on Instagram, has received.

“[The photo’s] not crude or explicit in any way,” she said in her own defense. “We made ourselves knowledgeable on the history of the mountain. We were quite respectful…here was nowhere that we read, or were told that it was a bad thing to do — and we believe that it still wasn’t…sorry that people felt that we were being disrespectful, that was never our intention whatsoever.”

Despite the controversy, it’s hard to argue that the resulting image is anything less than superb.

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WE DID IT!! This was BY FAR the hardest thing I have ever done! Both mentally and physically. 2 minutes out of the car park I was already hurting, sweating and ready to turn back 😂 But it's amazing what you can accomplish with the encouragement and support of your partner! I could not have done this without you babe @thejoshshaw! • 🏔 Mount Taranaki Summit 🔭 9000ft ❄️ -11'C/35km winds 🏃🏻‍♀️ 12.6km (1.6km elevation) ⏰ 2am – 6.30pm (12hr hike time) • This climb has forever changed me. I proved just how far I could push myself and I am truely proud of my accomplishment. This mountain was steep, rugged, ever changing and just pure brutal! Safe to say, I will never do it again 😅

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Here’s a look at some of her less controversial work.

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