Photo: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images
Remember a few days ago when I wrote about Paul Walker‘s girlfriend being underage when they began dating? 2 days and 371 comments later, and I’m still getting lots of fun emails calling me all sorts of names, as well as plenty of comments about how you “can’t blame him” for wanting a teenage girl. (Note: You can, in fact, blame somebody for beginning a romantic relationship with a teenage girl because it was a choice, but whatever. Clearly, that logic isn’t working its way through some folks’ brains right now.) There were also many, many comments stressing that you can’t stop love, how the pair just happened to fall for one another, how it was “just so right,” and several first-person stories from people who have dated older men and had it work out well.
But then, after seeing a comment on our sister site Crushable’s article on the subject, claiming that this wasn’t the “first time” Walker had dated a teenager, I did a little digging. As it turns out, Walker allegedly dated another underage teen girl.
According to the Daily Mail, “model turned real estate broker” Aubrianna Atwell allegedly dated Walker 12 years ago. Considering she is now 28, that means she was 16 at the time and he was 28-years-old.
In the event you need a reminder, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, Walker’s girlfriend at the time of his death, was also 16 when they reportedly began dating.
Even if somebody at the age of 16 is incredibly mature, looks older than 18, has a job, pays all his or her own bills, and is very responsible, it is still up to the adult to acknowledge that despite an existing attraction, it’s his responsibility to not make the relationship turn romantic. As a 24-year-old, the thought of dating a high school student makes me sick, but we live in a culture that glorifies “barely legal” PICS and “jailbait” photos, so I guess it’s fairly unsurprisingly that people would give this a pass.
Also, for those of you claiming we’re “only writing about this for clicks,” do you really believe all your favorite news sites are exclusively writing coverage about Paul Walker because they feel like it? Obviously, we need to write content people want to read–any website that claims it doesn’t is almost certainly lying–but it is still important to us to write honestly about this in the way we see fit. And right now, we think somebody reportedly dating underage girls is worth talking about.
If Paul Walker did, indeed, date Atwell when she was 16, then that all but refutes the whole “they just happened to fall in love!” claims that everyone keeps throwing at this discussion.
Like I said in my first post: yes, it is terrible that Paul Walker died in such an awful way. And you are welcome to email me as much hate mail as you want. Yes, he did pass away. Yes, that was horrible. Yes, he was a very attractive actor with millions of fans who did multiple successful movies. I’m not claiming he was a terrible person, but it is important to discuss the glorification of Hollywood celebrities and why people give them a pass regarding this type of behavior.