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Danni Ashe:
Speaking her mind...

It's could be a fraternity boy's wet dream -- or the plot of an Aaron Spelling television series. (Is there a difference?) Two beautiful women locked in a power struggle, pride, fame and the adoration of the masses on the line. In this case, though, it's fact not fiction -- and the participants are internet pin-up queen Danni Ashe and her new-found archnemesis, model and actress Cindy Margolis. As if her new television series isn't humiliating enough, Margolis -- former sole holder of Guinness Books "Most Downloaded Woman" honor -- is being publicly challenged for that title. According to Ashe and her representatives, who have petitioned Guinness for the title of "World's Most Downloaded Woman" backed by months of extensive, well-substantiated and expert-certified research, "Danni's Hard Drive" trounces Margolis in every category imaginable. As a matter of fact, Ashe's camp contends, images of the busty blond have been downloaded 13 times more often than Margolis. In typical Hollywood fashion, though, things have turned nasty. Margolis and crew have shot back with accusations of their own. Among other things, Margolis claims Ashe uses "cybersquatting," the practice of using another's name recognition or a name-related URL for unrelated purposes, to bolster her download numbers. While YourMVP would prefer these lovely ladies handle this in a civil manner -- like a Bikini & Pudding Death Match, may the best woman win -- that doesn't appear to be on the horizon. Instead, we sat down with the stripper-turned-internet-millionairess Ashe to get the skinny on the controversy -- and allow her to speak her mind on everything from speaking before Congress to why, exactly, being the "World's Most Downloaded Woman" matters so damn much!

YourMVP: It appears you've officially replaced Cindy Margolis as the Guinness Book of World Records' "Most Downloaded Woman."

DANNI 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.

Define that for us. What the hell is going on here?

That's 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 much bigger.


But 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.

It's 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?

Yeah! [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.

So what are the chances we'll see you facing off against Cindy Margolis in a "Celebrity Death Match" on MTV?

[Laughing] 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.

[Muttering] Lucky bastard.

So, 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.

So what has made you more downloaded than Cindy?

I 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.

You've 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?

Pictures of my nose hairs.

[YourMVP laughing.]

Yeah, 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.]

And did you?

[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."

I was expecting something a little more glamorous--like naked bungee jumping or something.

[Laughing.] You know, things are never really that . . . um . . . exotic.

What do you personally download when you're online?

I 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.

So 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?

You 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.

You 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"?

Actually, even before I started the website, I had to hire someone to screen my fanmail.

I 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.

It does. It does. Did speaking in front of Congress provide a reality check for you as to what is going on "out there"?

You 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.

We're 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.

Yeah, 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.

How did you get selected to speak to Congress? Did you feel like you were suddenly the "poster child" for online adult entertainment?

Andrew 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.

When 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 wants to?"

<Laughing.> 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.

What was the reaction of the adult entertainment industry to your presentation to Congress--or the Congressional board?

You 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.

When 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.

I 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

to inform and make recommendations.

Where can we expect to find you in the future? What are your upcoming projects?

Well, I'm speaking at the Streaming Media Conference (the week of October 9-13) next week and then I have another presentation in front of another Congressional Committee the week after that. We're continuing on with the "Most Downloaded" campaign. As soon as we hit one billion downloads, we have a deal to do a pay-per-view event.


So that should be coming sometime around the end of this year or next year.

What haven't you done professionally or personally that you'd like to experience?

I never finished college. I was always a math and sciences type of person. I didn't like liberal arts classes. Now, I feel on a personal level I missed out on a liberal arts education. I suck at "Jeopardy!". <Laughing> I'd really like to go back and do that.

Click here to visit Danni's OFFICIAL website

Click here to buy the video "Playboy's wildwebgirls.com" from Amazon.com

Click here to buy the above on DVD from Amazon.com

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