Social media star and influencer Danielle Cohn has millions of followers: but according to her dad, she’s feeding them a lie.
On YouTube, the vlogger writes that she’s 15. Her dad says she’s 13.
This comes after Danielle – who has 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube – attracted national notoriety for a series of videos with her 17-year-old boyfriend Mikey Tua, making up stories about being pregnant and getting married.
Her father, Dustin, took to Facebook to ‘set things straight’ as he’s worried about her safety, as well as losing his patience.
In a lengthy social media post, Dustin wrote:
When Danielle was first on social media on [Musical.ly, now TikTok] I was disgusted that kids would post videos and their parents thought it was ok. I asked for it to stop but it didn’t, and now it has spiraled into me being worried about my daughters safety.
I want these companies to be held accountable because they never did their due diligence in checking my daughter’s age, and have used a minor for profit because the money is more important than the truth. The exploitation of children on these sites needs to stop. If that means I have to be that person, I will come out and show the disgusting truth.
In the post, he talks about how Danielle moved to California despite his anxiety, and from there things seemed to spiral downwards.
Dustin says he feels uncomfortable with her social media presence. ‘It started with crop tops to bikinis and now lingerie? Instead of it being taken down, now every time I ask, im 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,’ he said.
Danielle has amassed 3.7 million followers on Instagram.
The post continues:
I am allowed to have anything I deem not appropriate to be taken down but she never will and Instagram and YouTube just ignore me.
I also feel sorry for these young guys who are being lied to and put in a horrible position of dating an under age and ILLEGAL minor. She is 13 and should not be around 17 year old boys. It is disgusting and unreal.
I have asked [her mother] Jen to not allow her around boys that age and she says it’s Danielles decision. Even though I have sources telling me she is pushed towards the older boys and people for likes and followers.
Dustin explains that he feels ‘screwed’ by the system as a father, deprived of the rights as set out in his parental agreement: such as approving jobs to ensure they’re age appropriate, and half custody despite spending £20,000 on litigation.
Danielle was also criticised for talking about her grandmother like ‘she hates her’, especially after she ‘took care of Danielle and Jen and Chad more than her own family did for 10 years and to treat her the way they have is unforgivable’.
Dustin was never married to Jennifer, however they all lived together for much of Danielle’s life so they could raise her together. ‘When I asked Danielle to call my mom to talk to her after she was diagnosed with cancer she would not,’ he said.
Dustin finishes the post with:
No 13 year old should be dancing in lingerie. Instagram should step up and take care of this. Danielle used to love being active, cheerleading, and school, but that’s all gone.
There’s more to life than just going places to take cool pictures or dance in front of. 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. I hope others around her wake up and realize it shouldn’t be about the money, but living life as a kid that she is.
Danielle responded on Instagram with a series of posts condemning her father for ‘never being there’ and ‘causing so much damage… I will never be able to forgive you’.
The response, posted using stories on Instagram, largely attacks her dad. In one line, she says she hopes that she’s ‘at least half the women’ her mum is is and ‘twice the parent’ her dad ‘could ever be’.
Danielle continues, writing:
Like going to social media instead of personally reaching out to me, you laid out lies and spoke about me as an enemy would… to this day you have never told the truth, because it’s easy for you isn’t it?
All my life you have been in and out of my life and it hurt me deeply years ago. Today I sit and wait, wait for you to grow up, wait for you to let go of your pride and put your daughter first.
But one can only wait so long… you may be ready to act like a man when it’s too late. You will apologise and blame your fault on others, but all I will do is laugh because it was you who missed out.
Dustin’s wife, Heather, commented on the posts, writing: ‘I hope the day you have a child you see the atrocity your career has become and the way you are portrayed. I doubt you want that for your child… believe in yourself and think how you move through life it’s not all selfies and shout outs.’
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.