You might think that after starring opposite your dad in a teen dating guide one would change their name and move to Costa Rica. But you'd be wrong—at least in the case of Danielle Newsome, now 35 years old, who cameoed in the video 7 Simple Rules for Dating My Christian Daughter.
The mid-nineties video resurfaced and went viral this week, making Newsome a momentary Internet celebrity—along with her father and the video's host, Pastor Jerry Johnston. Newsome is now married with two young kids, living as the wife of a pastor in Missouri and working as the worship director of their church.
“To all those people who call (the video) creepy, today I'm very happily married. I have two beautiful kids. My husband and I have a great sex life," she told Fusion. "I'm thankful that all of our sexual experiences we experienced together. And over fifteen years of marriage, we've developed a great sex life together. We went through the fun and the funny, the awkward and the awesome experiences together,” she said.
But what about the video, which was originally produced as part of a religious educational series? Can any 15-year-old really have "the talk" with her father on camera and walk away unscathed?
Newsome doesn’t have any regrets. "It was obviously embarrassing. No teenager likes to talk about sex with their parents, especially in a public format," she said. "But my parents did a very good job from the time we were young just being very open with us." She said she hoped her participation might do some good. "I felt like, maybe if this could help some other people my own age, I was willing to sacrifice my own pride."
Of the seven rules outlined in the video, the one getting the most attention is the warning for girls not to "defraud their date"—a Biblical term meaning "turn them on sexually"—by "dressing revealing." We've heard this song and dance before, putting the onus on women to keep interactions with men G-rated, lest they can't control their lust.
It turns out Newsome takes issue with this rule, too. "I think that point really has to apply to both," she corrected. "Things are changing now with sexting and social media/ I think it's just as easy today for guys to defraud their dates."
So what does she tell her 13-year-old son as he starts to think about dating? "I’d encourage him to respect his date, never pressuring her or putting her in a situation where she feels like she has to do anything. It's his responsibility, too, and he should try to put her in a position to succeed."
Cleo Stiller is a digital producer covering the intersections of sex, tech and culture. Words to live by: get your money's worth.