Danielle Thomas swears that her “emotional support monkey” helps her cope with the stresses of life. As a stripper who goes by the name Pole Assassin, Thomas’s monkey was involved in an incident when the primate bit a child visiting Thomas’s haunted house in her yard on Halloween. For the past four and a half years, the adult entertainer has been dating University of Texas football coach Jeff Banks – and her monkey has always been kept close.
The stripper’s boyfriend, Banks, was separated from his wife Kori and their three children – daughter, Sydnei, and two sons, Gage and Tanner in 2017. Only a few months later, he was entwined in a relationship with Thomas. Her seven-year-old monkey was part of the picture at the time their relationship began.
The monkey attack became national news after a USA Today reporter, Tom Campbell, learned that Gia, the white-faced capuchin monkey attacked a young child on Halloween while trick-or-treating. Campbell broke the story via a tweet on Twitter that proclaimed, “I’m hearing a report from a credible source that Texas Longhorns Special Teams Coach Jeff Banks’s monkey allegedly attacked and seriously hurt a young Trick-or-treater last night on Halloween. The monkey’s jaws apparently had to be pried off the small child.”
Thomas might be a familiar face for some of you. She previously appeared on the reality show hosted by Jerry Springer with her white-faced monkey, Gia. Thomas has 66,000 followers on Instagram, while the monkey has 9,000 followers of his own. She first got her white-faced capuchin monkey when it was a baby in November 2014.
However, the monkey was involved in an attack on Halloween 2021 when a child came to Thomas’s house to engage with the haunted house. The monkey was being kept in a cage on the property when it allegedly attacked one of the children visiting the haunted experience.
According to Thomas, the child should not have been near the monkey. Instead, the small child wandered onto part of the property and got too close to the monkey, which can be a dangerous animal when confronted.
“Here’s the gate, here’s where all the Haunted House action happened,” she said, narrating a video clip to show off her haunted house on her lot. “Here’s the gate that every child and parent was told to turn around at when they got to. It was closed and blocked off with balloons.”
“This is how far the kid went in my backyard, without permission, all the way over here to where the animals live. And, watch this. I don’t even play when it comes to my animals. And I know all the legal rules on them. Do not enter, emotional support animal, no touching. How could she bite someone if they don’t stick their hand in there, where it doesn’t belong? This is her home and her home only.”
Thomas has since deleted her social media accounts. But before she did, she turned to Twitter to deny that her monkey attacked a child.
“I had a haunted house on one side gated off/ he had no permission to go past the gate I had no idea he went in my back yard,” she tweeted, according to Sports Illustrated – before deleting her Twitter account. “Neither did I know anything about a bite! Until a doctor of the neighborhood told me the treat a small bite. No parent has contacted me about it!”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.