It appears you've officially replaced Cindy Margolis as the Guinness
Book of World Records' "Most Downloaded Woman."
ASHE: For one thing, I have replaced Cindy Margolis as the most
downloaded woman on the Internet. There's no question about that. In
the eyes of Guinness, we both hold a record.
that for us. What the hell is going on here?
what I want to know! <Laughing> No, what happened was, first
of all, I saw my Alexa Rankings. I always knew Danni's Hard Drive was
I saw it in black and white when my Alexa Ranking said that Danni's
Hard Drive was 13-times bigger than CindyMargolis.com. So it sort of
prompted me. [I started] to hear about [Cindy Margolis] getting the
Guinness World Record, and I thought, "You know what? It's time
for me to do something about this 'cause I think I can beat her!"
So we had Alexa do a study. They did a study of top websites being
run by and featuring a woman. I came out first--just ahead of Martha
Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. Cindy Margolis actually didn't even make
the report. If you just look at the Alexa Ranking, she was
one-thirteenth the size. Then we did a download study, identified all
the images of me on Danni's Hard Drive, went back through log files
and counted every instance of them being downloaded. That research
took several people months to do came up with our 841-million
(download) figure Three different Internet experts all separately
went through it and agreed with the findings. They all wrote us
letters saying "This looks very straight-forward." We sent
that entire package to Guinness, who spent several weeks going
through the data [before granting] me the Guinness World Record for
841 million downloads.
always been obvious that you've had a terrific figure, but 841
million downloads is a pretty damn impressive figure in its own
right! It went to hell after that?
[Laughing.] After that the Cindy Margolis camp began heavily
lobbying Guinness for a split of the record, making some accusations
against me that were not true--just pushing very, very hard to have
Guinness do something. They eventually, under pressure, split the
record between pay sites and free sites--to which we immediately
said, "OK, fine. We'll split our free site from our pay
site." We submitted numbers just for the free site, which STILL
beat her. And we said, "Oh, and by the way, all of her numbers
allegedly come from AOL--which is a paid subscription service, so
what's up?" Then Cindy's camp called them up and said I'm guilty
of cyber-squatting, and they're saying I'm cheating. They're just
pulling out everything they can. Guinness, I think, just threw up
their hands. They didn't want to be in the middle of it. They've now
declared that they WON'T look at any more Internet records until they
have a third-party to certify them.
what are the chances we'll see you facing off against Cindy Margolis
in a "Celebrity Death Match" on MTV?
Hey, I'm up for it. In fact, I accepted an invitation to do that on
Howard Stern, and she refused to show up--so I did Howard myself.
as it stands, officially I have a World Record for most "Paid
For Downloads." She has the record for free site downloads. My
free site numbers ARE bigger, and I've submitted a claim, but they've
put a freeze on all records because of all the controversy it was
stirring up and Guinness just didn't want to deal with it any more.
So I'm just sitting here going, "Let's go to another
third-party." She's actually never supplied any evidence. Mine's
been public all along. Let's have it out--and she's not responded.
what has made you more downloaded than Cindy?
got online very early. I became a very active member of the
community. I always have been very active online. I've committed my
whole life to this Internet business. I've been building this
business and building my fan base since 1995. Cindy Margolis is a
bikini model, and that's been the focus of her career: to be a model
and an actress. This has been a very convenient hook for her. If you
go to her website, this "Cyber Buddy" stuff, I think, is
offensive--and I don't think she's a real member of the community.
made all kinds of photos of yourself available--and pretty much
anything you do gets downloaded. What's the craziest photo
opportunity request you've ever gotten from a fan?
of my nose hairs.
I was on the cover of a magazine several years back, and they shot
it from a really low angle. You could like see up my nose. It was the
weirdest picture. I was like, "Ugh, what are they doing?"
Then I get this three-page letter from a guy saying, "Oh, my
God! I saw that photo, and I died. It was the sexiest thing I've ever
seen. I saw one of your nose hairs! I'm not going to live another day
until you take some pictures for me of your nose." [Laughing.]
Actually, I agreed to do it. At the time, one of the things I
offered through my fan club was custom photos. He didn't send the
check in right away. About a year later, he sent in the check, but by
that time I was so busy with the website that I couldn't do it. I was
like, "Sure, I'll take pictures of my nose! Fine. Whatever."
was expecting something a little more glamorous--like naked bungee
jumping or something.
You know, things are never really that . . . um . . . exotic.
do you personally download when you're online?
think I'm a very practical user of the Internet. I don't really look
to it for entertainment, and I think that's just because it's my work
life. When I just want to relax and be entertained, I'd much rather
go to the movies or sit down and vegetate in front of the TV.
do you personally get interested in adult material that you find
online or elsewhere? Is it something you like to do when you're with
that special someone?
know, I did a lot of that before I started this business. Now it's
kind of hard to separate the two. I mean, I've always enjoyed looking
at women's bodies. I think women's bodies are beautiful. They're much
more interesting--no offense--but I think women's bodies are much
more interesting than men's bodies.
felt like all these people were writing . . . Fans, when they write
to you, often times they make a leap. Because they've seen a certain
side of you, they make assumptions about the rest of you. They start
telling you that you're the smartest person in the world, that you're
the most wonderful, kind, caring person in the world. If you spend
too much time reading your mail, I think you get really confused
about yourself and disoriented. I found it very disorienting. I was
getting all this stuff from people telling me how wonderful I was,
but they didn't KNOW me. It was very unreal, and I couldn't deal with
it any more. I had to have somebody (do it). I love to look at my
mail a little bit here and there, but if I see too much of it, I feel
like it kind of takes me away from reality. I feel I buffer myself
from it enough to where I can stay real, but I look at enough of it
to where I can still be real to my fans. You know, I'm not THAT
disconnected from them. If that makes sense.
made a name and career of yourself through your body being displayed
on the Internet. How do you keep from being overwhelmed at times by
being not only the "World's Most Downloaded Woman" but also
the "World's Most Downloaded Sex Object"?
even before I started the website, I had to hire someone to screen
does. It does. Did speaking in front of Congress provide a reality
check for you as to what is going on "out there"?
know, it did! It reminded me how conservative people can be. I live
in a very liberal industry--both the Internet and adult entertainment
industry are both very liberal. Los Angeles is a liberal place--and
you forget. You forget that, you know, a lot of people don't know the
difference between softcore erotica and child pornography, and that
was the connection that was being made by some of the people at that
event. It was kind of a wake-up call. It reminds you that, hey,
you've got to always consider the people who see you much differently
than you do.
kind of going through the same. A number of people are saying that,
since we feature adult entertainers, we're a "porn site"
automatically. It's frustrating.
so many people see it in black and white. It's all or nothing. You
show a nipple and the next thing you know, you're a child pornographer.
did you get selected to speak to Congress? Did you feel like you
were suddenly the "poster child" for online adult entertainment?
Edmond, a friend who runs a company called "Flying
Crocodile" had spoken before the COPA (Child Online Protection
Act) Commission a couple of times before, and they had invited him
back and asked him to make recommendations for other people to speak.
Because I think my reputation is very good, and I've gotten a lot of
media attention, he felt like I was the right choice to go and
represent the industry. He recommended me and I went.
you were up there speaking, did the thought ever cross your mind,
"Other than Barney Frank, every one of the men here--the most
powerful governing body in the world--has either seen me naked--or
No, I didn't think that. I didn't. To clarify, I wasn't in front of
Congress. I was in front of a Congressional Committee. It wasn't
quite as overwhelming as sitting in front of all of Congress. I'll be
at another one a week after next for the National Research Council
(NRC), part of the National Academy of Sciences. They've got a
similar task in that they've been asked to research adult
entertainment and the whole issue of things that are harmful to minors.
was the reaction of the adult entertainment industry to your
presentation to Congress--or the Congressional board?
know, I haven't had that much feedback. I actually missed the last
AVN Online Conference or I2000 Convention, so I don't know. I haven't
gotten that much feedback from within the industry. Obviously there's
been a lot of media attention. I was kind of disappointed by a lot of
the stories that said, "Danni Ashe vows to clean up her site of
child pornography." I was like, "Wait a minute, that's not
even why I was there--and that has nothing to do with me." I
think there was a lot of misinformation flying around about it.
inform and make recommendations.
we first spoke to you about this interview, we were going on that
information--and the assumption that you'd gone on record and taken a stance.
was there, I was asked to make a presentation on marketing and how
adult materials are marketed online, and to make recommendations for
what I felt was the best way to protect children from harmful
materials. I went prepared to do that. I saw it as my civic duty to
do that. I was there