In the world of online romance, truth is flexible. When online lovers meet in person, the reality doesn’t always align with cyber fantasy. Nowhere is this demonstrated more effectively than in the case of a flirtatious Frenchman who discovered that his hot Internet romance had been with his mother.
In the film Must Love Dogs, when forty-something and suddenly single Diane Lane answers a personal ad, her distinguished older gentleman blind date turns out to be her father, played by Christopher Plummer. Because Lane and Plummer had never spoken and only corresponded sufficiently to set a meeting place and time, the implication of a romantic relationship between father and daughter was only slightly–and manageably–awkward. Nothing had transpired between the pair to create genuine creepiness.
The same can not be said of real-life events that transpired between would-be lovers, mother and son, Nicole and Daniel Anceneaux.
Aspiring Internet playboy Daniel Anceneaux, a twenty-something X-ray technician in Marseilles, France, assumed the nom de cyber the Prince of Pleasure, and went online in mid-2005 in search of romance. He found it in a woman calling herself Sweet Juliette. Over the course of six months, the Prince and his Juliette exchanged poetry and increasingly romantic e-mail.
Daniel Anceneaux told Weekly World News: “I really started to fall for her, because there seemed to be a sensitive side that you don’t see in many girls. She sent me poems she had written and told me about her dreams and desires, and it was really very romantic. The conversations even got a little racy a couple of times.”
The online affair continued until the love struck Prince asked his equally infatuated Juliette for a photo of herself. Later admitting that she sent a photo scanned from a men’s magazine, Nicole completed the irresistible package of Juliette with a face and body Daniel couldn’t resist. And, he didn’t. He immediately begged to meet his cyber lover of 6 months. Although Nicole feared her Prince of Pleasure would be disappointed with the real her, the rendezvous was set for a local beach after dark, and both set out to meet their heartthrobs.
“I figured I was going to find the girl of my dreams,” he said. “I guess that’s about as wrong as I’ve ever been.”
When Daniel arrived at the beach he saw Sweet Juliette wearing exactly what she had told him to expect. However, when she turned around, the lover boy found not the curvaceous cutie of his dreams, but his own 52-year old mother. “All I could think was, ‘Oh my God! it’s Mama!’” he confessed.
In the midst of their mutually mortifying realization, the pair were busted by a local police officer for trespassing on a restricted beach after dark. Flustered, the pair blurted out the entire story to the officer, who wrote a report that was later obtained by a local Marseilles television news station and broadcast on the 6 o’clock report. Now, both residents of Marseilles suburbs become the focus of snickering and the butt of jokes whenever either appears in public.
Of course, Nicole’s husband of 27 years, Daniel’s father, to whom Nicole was married throughout the course of her online affair with her son, was not as amused as his neighbors. At least when Lane and Plummer inadvertently hooked up, Plummer had already been divorced from Lane’s mother for more than a year.
This story first appeared in the Weekly World News, the same publication that brought the world Bat-Boy and continues to proclaim the arrival of the Apocalypse every six months. Although the account of Daniel and Nicole of Marseilles have traveled far and wide across the Web since the December 2005 Weekly World News report, every mention seems to have originated with that publication. Had the account truly first appeared on a local French television station, someone–even if just French bloggers–would have picked it up. I can find no evidence in either English or French of this story preceding the one published by the Weekly World News.
So, is this story legitimate? Who knows. I would consider it just as credible as accounts of the mutant Bat-Boy living in a cave in Albuquerque. (I’ve looked and looked for Bat-Boy in those caves, and all I can find is mountains of guano–inconclusive at best.)
The most plausible explanation might not be a case of art imitating life, but art imitating art. In all likelihood, reporter Grace Green was inspired by the film Must Love Dogs to craft a story that takes the Lane/Plummer encounter to its penultimate conclusion.
What would be the ultimate conclusion on this latest Internet urban legend? Why, if Daniel and Nicole didn’t stop the progression of their relationship after identifying each other, of course.