teens

"No 13 year-old should be dancing in lingerie.” A dad's concern for Insta-famous daughter.

Danielle Cohn poses in lingerie and bikinis. She has millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram. She caused controversy earlier this year when she claimed to be pregnant and married at the age of just 15.

But now, Danielle’s dad Dustin says she’s been lying about her age. In fact, he says she’s just 13.

How could this have been allowed to happen?

Danielle’s mum Jennifer told BuzzFeed early last year that it all started in 2016 when she was a single mum, working two jobs, and would leave Danielle at home with her older brother Chad at night. She said Danielle discovered Musical.ly (now known as Tik Tok) and started posting videos of herself lip-synching. Before long, she had a million followers.

Everything you need to know about ‘finstagrams’. It’s the place they share the “real” moments. Post continues below.

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Jen says she only found out about it when Danielle started getting requests for ads paying up to $500 each.

“I was pretty shocked,” Jen told BuzzFeed. “She was so young, and she would be making more than me in a week – a lot more than me.”

Jen quit her night job to become her daughter’s manager, and then quit her day job and moved the family from Orlando to Los Angeles.

By the beginning of last year, Danielle had almost 10 million fans on Musical.ly and 1.8 million followers on Instagram, as well as endorsement deals with major brands. She had a 17-year-old boyfriend – another Musical.ly star, Sebastian Topete, who Jen also started managing. At the time, Jen was claiming Danielle was 13. According to her dad, she would have been just 11.

But not everyone was a fan of Danielle’s, with numerous hate pages devoted to tearing her down. Danielle said she thought the hate was due to her being so young and successful, and her clothes being “very revealing”.

It was in April this year that Danielle really sparked off a storm. By then she was dating a 17-year-old, Mikey Tua. She posted a photo of Mikey kissing her stomach, and he posted a tweet, “Expecting 08/14/19”. Mikey then posted a video of them telling their parents they were expecting a baby.

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Many followers were horrified.

“Say April fools… say it please,” one posted on Twitter.

A few days later, Danielle posted a video of her ‘getting married’ to Mikey in Las Vegas – even though in Nevada, people under 16 can only get married with a court order.

“It was a YouTube video like most YouTube people do for clickbait,” Jen later told BuzzFeed.

Not long after the fake marriage/pregnancy controversy, rumours started spreading that Danielle was not 15, but younger. In July, Mikey’s parents posted on Instagram.

“After some sensitive information was brought to my attention about Danielle, we no longer support Mikey and Danielle’s relationship,” his mother Katie wrote. “Because Mikey is still a minor, we have taken away his social media.”

Katie said Danielle was only 13.

“We have a certified copy of Danielle’s birth certificate,” she added.

Earlier this week, Danielle’s dad decided it was time to “set things straight”, with a lengthy statement on Facebook.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Well we lasted a year???? but now we are over… he not the same person glad we are over.

A post shared by DANI???? (@daniellecohn) on

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Dustin, who had Jen, Danielle and Chad living in his house until Danielle was 10, says Danielle is 13. He says he’s never liked her being on social media, especially at such a young age.

“But pageants, and modelling, and then Musical.Ly were all pushed on her,” he adds. “It was always a huge problem to me.”

He says he allowed her to move to LA, as long as it was agreed that she would visit him once a month, send school records and be “appropriate”. But he says that hasn’t happened.

“It started with crop tops to bikinis and now lingerie?” he writes. “Instead of it being taken down, now every time I ask, I’m told Danielle wants to post it (even when she was 11) and I’m told she’s losing likes. To me safety is more important.

“I also feel sorry for these young guys who are being lied to and put in a horrible position of dating an underage and ILLEGAL minor. She is 13 and should not be around 17-year-old boys. It is disgusting and unreal.”

Dustin says he’s never authorised Danielle to do any ads or promotions or shows, and he is claiming “child exploitation”

“She is a child and should not have been ‘working’ from such a young age. But many people around her and these companies cared more about the money.”

 

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@fashionnova Me jealous of you? Bless your delusional heart????

A post shared by DANI???? (@daniellecohn) on

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Dustin talks about the rift this has caused within the family, and how much he worries for his daughter.

“No 13-year-old should be dancing in lingerie,” he writes. “I truly hope in the future she gets to truly experience life and have fun and not be caught up in a world of followers, fame, likes, and money. I hope one day she sees that I’ve only ever tried to protect her.”

Danielle is now getting attacked in the media all over again. Headlines are saying she’s been “exposed” by her dad, who’s “accused” her of lying.

But her dad isn’t doing anything like that. He’s worried for his daughter. Everyone should be worried about her. Even if she was 15, it would still be too young to be making money – and supporting her family financially – by posing provocatively and making suggestive videos. The idea that she’s doing that at 13 is terrifying. The fact that she’s getting so many followers, and so many major brands sponsoring her, should raise a lot of questions.

Teenagers on social media are vulnerable. Pre-teens on social media are incredibly vulnerable. This is the kind of thing that parents should be protecting their kids from, not pushing them towards, no matter how much money is involved.

No 13-year-old should be dancing in lingerie with millions of people watching.


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