Um, Are We Aware That Paul Walker Started Dating His Girlfriend When She Was Sixteen?

Paul Walker attending the Russian premiere of Fast Five in Moscow April 2011

UPDATE #3: In case anyone was worried that I’m not getting enough feedback for writing about this, I’ve received over 1,200 responses. Here are some of the angriest ones, and here are some of the most encouraging and supportive.

UPDATE #2: For those of you saying this is okay because it was a one-time thing, meet Aubrianna Atwell, an ex-girlfriend of Paul’s with whom he began a relationship when he was twenty-eight and she was…yup, sixteen.

UPDATE: A lot of you have asked me in the comments who I am to judge Paul for his relationship…so to answer your question — I’m someone who was involved in a very similar situation when I was sixteen. Since you asked.

Ever since the tragic death of Paul Walker in a car accident this past Saturday, November 30th, we’ve been pretty bombarded with information about the late actor. His friends and former costars have been responding via Twitter, and blogs and news anchors alike keep interrupting the news cycle to assure us that his daughter and his girlfriend are both extremely upset. In case that was ever in question.

But in reading one of the articles about Paul’s girlfriend, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, I thought I came across a typo — it said she was twenty-three, which I could understand, given that we live in a world where thirty-eight year old Bradley Cooper is dating twenty-one year old Suki Waterhouse, but it also said that they’d been dating for seven years.

Ha. No way, dude. No way that’s accurate. I kind of grimaced to myself, imagining the embarrassment of the editor who had let an error like that slip through the cracks. But then I looked at several other posts, and they all said the same thing: at the time of his death, Paul, 40, was dating Jasmine, 23, and they’d been together for seven years. Which means at the time of their meeting, she was sixteen and he was…thirty-three.

Now I don’t want to insult his memory or anything, but how the hell did we miss that? How did we miss a seventeen-year age difference that would’ve constituted statutory rape in certain states at the time of their meeting? How did we not realize that at age fifteen, Paul’s daughter Meadow is only a year younger than Jasmine was when he met and started dating her? And that if they’d gotten married, her stepmom would’ve been only eight years older than her. That’s not okay, right? I mean, right? I have no intimate knowledge of the situation, but when a famous Hollywood actor in his thirties starts dating A SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL, maybe that deserves another look.

I get that he’s a good-looking guy and that his death is really tragic, but I’d love if we could be a little less casual with statements about their seventeen year age difference and the fact that they started dating when Jasmine was a teenager. That’s not romantic, that’s borderline illegal, depending on the age of consent in the state they were in at the time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that statutory rape is still a crime.


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    • Daniel Hutnicki

      I will agree that its weird and just hearing that he dated a 16 year when he was 33 is very strange. On the other hand, they were together for 7 years so it doesnt seem like he has a preference for underage children. I mean if he had lived and married her and we had this discussion 20 years from now, everyone would be saying that it was great romantic love story.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        She’s the second 16-year old he dated, that we know of.

    • ms198200

      Yeah a 33 year old man dating a 15 year old girl has no interest in real women and all of you defending it just validate all the pedos. Ya know what they say about rapists? Not all men are rapists but all rapists think all men are. Hope you are proud of yourselves you effin pervs.

    • DebinPDX

      I only read the caption of this article and had to wonder why this is newsworthy? Don’t you have enough other stuff to write about? He is dead. Dead. I hate the media’s idea of “news.” Trash the dead person as much as you can and if you can’t find out something true, make it up. Reporters do it all the time and I use the term reporters with trepidation. Gossip/hate mongers would be more accurate. Shame on you. Crap like this is the sign of a lazy writer.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Wouldn’t lazy be waiting three months to leave this comment on a post?

      • DebinPDX

        You’re right. It is lazy. I didn’t look at it before now and honestly didn’t check the date. The point remains there is lots of stuff to write about without salacious crap that ends up reflecting as badly on you for topic choice as it does on the subject of the article. Maybe if he hadn’t died it would matter but as it is, he did die. I’ve never been able to understand the press’s need to report all things tawdry on those who’ve passed. Can’t we let them go in peace?

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Not if they’ve committed a crime during their lifetime.

      • DebinPDX

        It doesn’t matter. He’s dead. The only person who matters is his daughter why would you want to hurt her? The media has some strange compulsion to say all the bad s**t they can about people who’ve died. Stick to the living where it actually matters. I see nothing to be gained by hurting a young girl–namely his daughter.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        “I see nothing to be gained by hurting a young girl.”

        You could be talking about Jasmine, who was only a year older than Meadow is now when Paul started dating her.

        And THAT…is why I wrote this.

      • DebinPDX

        But he’s dead! So you can’t change anything, NO ONE was helped by knowing this. Jasmine will live her life as she chooses. Time would have been better spent talking about what a good actor he was. I too, do not agree with men of any age dating GIRLS–there is something terribly wrong with it but when the person is dead I see this only as a way to get your work read. I guess that’s fair.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Unfortunately, he wasn’t a good actor.

    • maria

      Hi I’m a medium and Paul Walker says its none of your business.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        That does sound like something he’d say.

    • DebinPDX

      It doesn’t matter if he was a good or bad actor. The point remains–he’s dead. No gossip allowed.

      I’m not questioning your writing skills–those are fine. It’s writing stuff like this when he can’t defend himself. Not okay.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        There are a lot of criminals who are dead and can’t defend themselves — should we give them a free pass as well?

      • DebinPDX

        Yes. They are old news.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Great! Ariel Castro will be thrilled!

    • Kim

      I am a bit confused by this blog, you say your not trying to insult his memory, yet you are bringing up his personal life in a negative manner. Paul walker was an incredible young man who died tragically and left behind his daughter and girlfriend. imagine how his daughter would feel if she were to read this. By posting this blog you are insulting his memory. So what he dated a 16 year old, that was seven years ago she is 23 now so why does it matter now. The fact that you brought this up after the fact that he died is what makes this post so insulting, why could you have not posted this when he was alive. Let Paul rest in peace and let his family grieve in peace, its people like you that make it hard for others to celebrate the life of someone like Paul and mourn hi death.

    • blueice

      Dead or not, a crime is still a crime. Should we not talk about any one just because they are dead.what makes him so special compared to any other who committed a crime.

    • Tyrannosaurus Thunder

      I’m not sure if I’m following, but having SEXUAL relations with a 16 year old is wrong and disgusting, but it said they were “Together” for seven years………Does that plainly insist that they were banging since that time???????? Maybe just friends until she turned 18………..You could still be classified as “together” even though you are just friends, no????????????

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