The internet is collectively concerned that a 15-year-old YouTuber is pregnant and married.
Danielle Cohn, who goes by Dani, got her start on Musical.ly before it became the app now known as TikTok. She now has 1.2 million YouTube subscribers and 3.5 million Instagram subscribers. Dani and her mother, who manages her, are controversial figures in the influencer world. When she was 13, Dani was in a relationship with a 17-year-old Musical.ly star, which some of her followers found inappropriate.
Now, her followers are worried that she’s either married and pregnant, or is pulling an elaborate, inconsiderate prank on the internet for clicks. Public records and an older YouTube video on Dani’s channel seem to point to the latter, but the situation is still hazy.
On Apr. 11, her 16-year-old boyfriend of 10 months, Mikey Tua, tweeted, “Expecting 08/14/19” and tagged it #manibaby. A day later, Dani posted a black and white photo on Instagram of Mikey kissing presumably her stomach with no caption except a yellow heart emoji.
The day Dani posted the photo, Mikey uploaded a YouTube video of the couple telling their parents about the pregnancy and claimed that they took a positive pregnancy test four months before telling the adults in their lives. The adults lectured the two teenagers for the rest of the video, and when one of their mothers asks if it’s a joke, Dani responded, “Did you guys notice I’ve been looking really bloated lately?”
But in a January 22 video, which is fewer than four months ago if you do the math, Dani dismissed claims that she was pregnant.
“No, I am not pregnant. This is not a truth about me, this is nothing that I would ever even do, first of all,” she clarified in the vlog debunking followers’ assumptions about her. Later in the video, she suggested holding off on anything sexual until “you are married and you know you’re gonna be with that person forever.”
She also added that she and Tua are “definitely too young” to get married.
Flash forward to April. Dani said she and Mikey brought their families on vacation in Las Vegas so they’d all be “in good moods” before telling everyone she was pregnant.
On April 13, Dani posted a monetized video of a supposed Las Vegas wedding, which was officiated by an Elvis impersonator on Apr. 6.
“Dani, on this day and with this ring, I pledge myself to you,” Mikey repeated after Elvis incarnate. “As your BFF, your best friend, your partner in crime, and your friend forever.”
But they can’t legally be married — in Nevada, 16 and 17-year-olds need parental consent to wed, and those under 16 can only do so with a court order. And according to court records, as first reported by BuzzFeed, there’s no registered marriage license for Dani or Mikey.
Dani’s mother and manager, Jennifer, assured the internet that the teenagers weren’t actually legally bound.
“It was a YouTube video like most YouTube people do for clickbait,” she told BuzzFeed. “She committed to her best friend in Vegas … legally they can’t get married.”
But that doesn’t mean the two aren’t serious: Her mom clarified that it wasn’t “done for a stunt” but that the two high schoolers instead had a commitment ceremony-type event and “they made a promise.”
However, she didn’t confirm her daughter’s pregnancy, or address whether it was a terrible prank.
Twitter users expressed their concern over the couple’s age and questioned whether it was “some type of Justin & Hailey shit,” referencing the insensitive April Fools’ Day joke the Biebers pulled. Bieber later apologized for the joke, which was insensitive toward those who struggle to get pregnant. The same can be said for Dani and Mikey if this is all a prank.
yall better be pulling some type of justin & hailey shit. being preg at 15 is actually no joke. yall think yall are “ready” just bc yall have money 🤣🤣 this shit makes me sad seeing what our generation has come to. imagine all these young people who look up to yall. sad.
— isella🇲🇽 (@x_isella) April 12, 2019
pregnancy is NOT something to joke about
— gracey (@gracexwilliams1) April 12, 2019
april fools day was last week 😐
— laur (@larristide) April 12, 2019
If this is a joke, in addition to being in bad taste, it’s poorly timed. We have all moved on from April Fools.