Danielle Fishel, star of ‘Boy Meets World,’ claims she was catfished by a man who posed as a young female fan and later stalked her at school.
Danielle Fishel claimed she was catfished by a man she corresponded with in 1993.
According to Fishel, the man pretended to be a young girl living with her brother and sent her photographs of himself.
According to Fishel, he “began showing up at my school and telling people he was there to pick me up.”
On Monday’s episode of the “Boy Meets World” rewatch podcast “Pod Meets World,” Danielle Fishel revealed a terrifying side to fame.
While she and cohosts Rider Strong and Will Friedle were discussing their experiences receiving fan mail in the 1990s, Fishel told a story about being catfished as a preteen.
She stated that around 1993, she began writing letters to someone she assumed was a young girl, with whom she bonded over their shared love of gymnastics. Fishel recalled, “I felt very close to her.” Fishel was about 12 years old at the time.
The “Girl Meets World” star said her mother was aware of the correspondence and was tracking what she wrote to the fan and what the fan wrote back, and that her pen pal claimed her parents died when she was younger and that she lived with her older brother. Pictures of the pen pal’s brother were eventually included in the letters.
The girl’s phone number was included in one of the letters. Fishel stated that her mother told her that “this girl seems like you two would be friends,” so she dialled the number. But every time she called, all she got was a voicemail from the brother, with no mention of the young girl. She’d leave her phone number, but no one ever returned her call.
She eventually realised her pen pal “was a guy pretending to be a girl,” she said, recalling that her mother discovered the ruse after “we got a letter from her brother saying that she had died.”
The correspondence became even more predatory after “he started showing up at my school and telling people he was there to pick me up,” according to Fishel.
The podcast conversation ended before Fishel could finish her story, so it’s unclear what happened after the man showed up at her school or whether he was ever charged with anything.
Strong admitted after hearing Fishel’s story that he would “meet up with” girls who contacted him prior to his “Boy Meets World” fame to play video games. He assumed it was around the time he appeared as a guest star on the popular ’90s sitcom “Home Improvement.”
“You simply need to set boundaries. It’s extremely difficult, “He spoke of his celebrity.