The shocking, exclusive story of a man fallen from grace
By Chandler Walter, Humour Editor
It was everything a young teenage man could have wanted: become an Internet sensation, find worldwide fame, and appear as a guest star on Ellen. Life could not have been better for Damn Daniel, or so it seemed.
In this three-hour long documentary we go deep into the reality of an internet star. The drama, the heartbreak, the lies and the corruption that brought Damn Daniel to the forefront of our lives.
The makings of a legend
From humble beginnings in Los Angeles, California, Damn Daniel always knew he would become a star.
“Even as a baby, he would crawl into the room, and we would all be like, ‘damn,’” said Daniel’s mother, Danielle. “We had really high hopes for him. Sometimes I feel like I might have pressured him a bit too hard to become an Internet sensation, but it is just every mother’s dream. I wanted him to succeed so badly—it may have pushed him over the edge.”
Damn Daniel grew to infamy in his famous “Damn Daniel” video: a series of snapchats in which he was complimented by his friend, Joshua Holz.
“I just thought he looked really good,” Holz said. “I saw him each day at school and I was like, ‘Damn, Daniel.’ I’m sure you all know this by now.”
The video reached such a level of popularity that Daniel and Holz were invited onto talk show Ellen, and were gifted with a life supply of white Vans.
“That is when it all went downhill,” Holz said.
The fallen angel
“I just, I had too much power to know what to do with,” Daniel said in an exclusive interview. “After the appearance on Ellen I was on top of the world. I couldn’t be stopped.”
Daniel found that he was a celebrity at school, that he could date any girl in his grade nine year that he wanted, but what he really wanted always eluded him.
“I just wanted to be normal,” Daniel said, a single tear rolling down his cheek. “I wasn’t just Daniel anymore. Even my teachers wouldn’t speak to me without saying ‘Daaaaaayyyyym’ first. It drove me crazy. My real name is actually Daniel Lara, but the media covers it as if my first name is Damn and my last name, Daniel.”
Life in the spotlight had grown wearisome for Damn Daniel, and he wanted out.
“I sold my lifetime supply of white Vans, ironically, on the black market. They went for $200 a pair, as long as I wore them for a few days first. Creeps me out to think what people are doing with those shoes, but I needed the money.”
Daniel found himself mixing with the wrong sort once he had a hefty bank account, and he broke ties with all who knew him as “Damn.”
“Those were dark years,” Daniel said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Up next: Daniel talks about his life now, the sneakers empire he built from the ruins of his life, and his re-emergence into the snap-chat game.