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Facts about Jenna Jameson
Biography for Jenna JamesonJenna Jameson (born Jenna Marie Massoli; Apr. 9, 1974[dead link]) is an American entrepreneur and former pornographic actress of Italian descent, who has been called the world's most famous porn star and "The Queen of Porn". She started acting in erotic movies in 1993 (20 years ago) after having worked as a stripper and glamour model. By 1996 (17 years ago), she had won the 'top newcomer' award from each of the three major pornographic movie industry organizations. She has since won more than 20 adult movie awards, and has been inducted into both the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) and Adult Video News (AVN) Halls of Fame.
Jameson founded pornographic entertainment company ClubJenna in 2000 (13 years ago) with Jay Grdina, whom she later married and divorced. Initially a single website, this business expanded into managing similar websites of other stars and began producing pornographic movies in 2001 (12 years ago). The first such film, Briana Loves Jenna (with Briana Banks), was named at the 2003 (10 years ago) AVN Awards as the best-selling and best-renting pornographic title for 2002 (11 years ago). By 2005 (8 years ago), Club Jenna had revenues of US$30 million with profits estimated at half that. Advertisements for her site and films, often bearing her picture, have towered on a forty-eight-foot-tall billboard in New York City's Times Square. Playboy TV hosts her Jenna's American Sex Star reality show where aspiring porn stars compete for a Club Jenna contract.
Jameson has also crossed-over into mainstream pop-culture, starting with a minor role in Howard Stern's 1997 (16 years ago) movie Private Parts. Her mainstream appearances continued with: regular appearances on The Howard Stern Show; very popular guest-hosting stints on E! TV's Wild On! and Talk Soup programs; a guest-starring voice-over role in a 2001 (12 years ago) episode of the Fox animated TV sitcom Family Guy; an award-winning voice-over role in the 2002 (11 years ago) video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; and, a guest-starring role in two episodes of the 2003 (10 years ago) NBC TV series Mister Sterling. Her 2004 (9 years ago) autobiography, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale, spent six weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. She has also created a horror comic book with Virgin Comics entitled Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter, which was released in Feb. 2008 (5 years ago). She played the female lead character in the 2008 (5 years ago) horror-comedy Zombie Strippers.
Early yearsJameson was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her father is Lawrence Massoli, an Italian American police officer and program director for KVBC-TV. Her mother was Judith Brooke Hunt Massoli, a Las Vegas showgirl who danced in the Folies Bergère show at the Tropicana Resort & Casino. Her mother died of skin cancer on Feb. 20, 1976 (37 years ago), before her daughter's second birthday. The cancer treatments bankrupted the family and they moved several times, including living in a trailer and moving in with her father's mother. Her father spent most of his time at work at the Las Vegas Sheriff's Department, and she became very close to her brother, Tony. She was a frequent entrant in beauty pageants as a child, and took ballet classes. In a featurette on the Zombie Strippers DVD, Jameson indicates she trained in dance for 15 years.
Jameson writes in her autobiography that in Oct. 1990 (23 years ago), while the family was living on a cattle ranch in Fromberg, Montana, she was beaten with rocks and gang raped by four boys after a football game. While still 16 she says she was raped a second time, by Preacher, her boyfriend Jack's biker uncle. (Preacher has denied this.) Rather than tell her father, she left home and moved in with Jack in her first serious relationship.
Jack was a tattoo artist, and gave her the first of a series of tattoos, one which would become her trademark tattoo, two hearts on her right buttock. According to E!, her brother Tony, who later owned a tattoo parlor himself, added the inscription "Heart Breaker".
Early careerShe tried to follow in her mother's career as a Las Vegas showgirl, but most shows rejected her for not having the required height of 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm). She was hired at the Vegas World show, but left after two months stating that the schedule was brutal, and the money was terrible.
Her boyfriend Jack encouraged her to apply for jobs as a stripper, and in 1991 (22 years ago), though underage, she began dancing in Las Vegas strip clubs using a fake I.D. After she was rejected from the Crazy Horse Too strip club because of the braces on her teeth, she removed them with a pair of needle-nose pliers and was accepted. After six months, she was earning US$2,000 per night, before finishing high school.
Her first stage name as a stripper was "Jennasis", a name that she later used as the name of a business that she incorporated ("Jennasis Entertainment"). She chose the name "Jenna Jameson" to use as a model after scrolling through the phone book for a last name that matched her first name, before finally deciding on Jameson for Jameson Whiskey, which she is known to drink.
Besides dancing, starting later in 1991 (22 years ago), she posed for nude photographs for photographer Suze Randall in Los Angeles, with the intention of getting into Penthouse. After her photos had appeared in several men's magazines under various names, she then stopped working for Randall, feeling Randall was "a shark" who had been taking advantage of her.
While in high school, she began taking drugs—cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine—accompanied by her brother (who was addicted to heroin) and at times her father. Her addiction worsened during her four years with her boyfriend. She eventually stopped eating properly and became too thin to model; Jack left her in 1994 (19 years ago). She weighed 76 pounds (less than 35 kilograms) when a friend put her in a wheelchair and sent her to her father, who was then living in Redding, California, in order to detox; her father did not recognize her when she got off the plane.
Pornographic movie careerAt the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2007 (6 years ago), Jan. 12, 2007Jameson says that she started acting in pornographic movies to get back at her boyfriend, Jack, for cheating on her. She first appeared in an erotic movie in 1993 (20 years ago), a non-explicit softcore movie by Andrew Blake, with girlfriend Nikki Tyler, whom she had met modeling for Suze Randall. Her first pornographic movie scenes were filmed by Randy West and appeared in 1994's Up and Cummers 10 and Up and Cummers 11. She quickly achieved notice and appeared in several other pornographic movies while still living in Las Vegas.
Jameson got her first breast implants on Jul. 28, 1994 (19 years ago), to enhance her stripping and movie careers. By 2004 (9 years ago), she had had two different sets of breast implants and a chin implant.
Jameson's first pornographic movie appearances were lesbian scenes (a common way that female performers ease into the business). She says: "Girl-on-girl was easy and natural. Then they offered me lots of money to do boy-girl." Her first heterosexual scene was in Up and Cummers 11 (1994, 19 years ago). At the beginning of her career, she promised herself that she would never do anal sex or double penetration scenes on film. She has also never done any interracial sex scenes with men (despite that category's runaway popularity during 2000s). When asked about this on The Howard Stern Show on Feb. 8, 2008 (5 years ago), she said that she wasn't necessarily opposed to doing so; rather, "it never really came up", as there were few black men working in porn when she started, and none of them worked [exclusively] for the same company [as] she did. Instead, her "signature move" was oral sex, lubricated with saliva.
In 1994 (19 years ago), after overcoming her drug addiction by spending several weeks with her father and grandmother, Jameson relocated to Los Angeles to live with Nikki Tyler. She started modeling again, and in 1995 (18 years ago) got her father's blessing to make a career out of pornographic films. Her first movie after that was Silk Stockings. Later in 1995 (18 years ago), Wicked Pictures, a then small pornographic movie production company, signed her to an exclusive contract. She remembers telling Wicked pictures (wallpaper) founder Steve Orenstein:
“ The most important thing to me right now is to become the biggest star the industry has ever seen. ”
The contract earned Jameson US$6,000 for each of eight movies in her first year. Her first big-budget production was Blue Movie (1995, 18 years ago), where she played a reporter investigating a porn set; It won multiple AVN Awards. In 1996 (17 years ago), Jameson won top awards from three major industry organizations, the XRCO Best New Starlet award, the AVN Best New Starlet Award, and the Fans of X-Rated Entertainment (FOXE) Video Vixen award. She was the first entertainer to win all three awards. A stream of other awards followed.
By 2001 (12 years ago), Jameson earned $60,000 for a day and a half of filming a single DVD, and $8,000 per night dancing at strip clubs. She tried to restrict herself to five movies per year and two weeks of dancing per month. Her husband Jay Grdina has said that she earned as much as $25,000 per night dancing.
Since Nov. 2005 (8 years ago), she has been the host of Playboy TV's Jenna's American Sex Star, where prospective porn stars compete in sexual performances for a contract with her company, ClubJenna. Winners of the contracts for the first two years were Brea Bennett and Roxy Jezel.
In Aug. 2007 (6 years ago), Jameson had her breast implants removed, reducing her from a D to a C cup; she also said she was finished with appearing on camera in pornographic films, though she would continue running ClubJenna, which was grossing $30 million per year. In Jan. 2008 (5 years ago), Jameson confirmed she is retiring from pornographic performances.
BusinessJameson and Grdina formed ClubJenna as an Internet pornography company in 2000 (13 years ago). ClubJenna.com was one of the first pornographic sites to provide more than pictures (wallpaper) and videos; it provided explicit diaries, relationship advice, and even stock tips to paid members. The site reportedly was profitable in its third week. The business later diversified into multimedia pornographic entertainment, first by administering other porn stars' websites, then, in 2001 (12 years ago), by production of pornographic films.
Early Club Jenna movies starred Jameson herself, limiting herself to on-screen sex with other women or with Grdina, who appeared as Justin Sterling. The first ClubJenna film, Briana Loves Jenna (2001, 12 years ago), co-produced with Vivid, cost US$280,000 to make, and grossed over $1 million in its first year. It was the best selling and best renting pornographic title of its year, winning twin AVN Awards. It was marketed as "Jenna. Her first boy/girl scene in over 2 years." referring to Jameson's abstention from heterosexual on-film intercourse. Grdina has said that Jameson's movies averaged sales of 100,000 copies, compared with run-of-the-mill pornographic films, which did well to sell 5,000. On the other hand, he also said that their movies took up to twelve days to film, compared with one day for other pornographic films.
In a January, 2009 (4 years ago) interview with William Shatner on Shatner's Raw Nerve, Jameson said she came close to buying Penthouse magazine when publisher Bob Guccione filed for Chapter 11 reorganization of his business (which occurred in August, 2003 (10 years ago)), but was thwarted when someone else swooped in and bought up all the stock. New York Magazine's Intelligencer quoted a source from Penthouse as saying “I’m sure she is considering it,” adding that Jameson was to be cover girl in January, 2004 (9 years ago) — and “it’s a really wild-looking shoot, even for a porn star.”
In 2004 (9 years ago), the Club Jenna movies expanded to starring other actresses without Jameson — Krystal Steal, Jesse Capelli, McKenzie Lee, Ashton Moore and Sophia Rossi — as Jameson stepped back from starring roles. In 2005 (8 years ago), Jameson directed her first film, The Provocateur, released as Jenna's Provocateur in sep. 2006 (7 years ago). The movies were distributed and marketed by Vivid Entertainment, which Forbes magazine once called "the world's largest adult movie company." They made up a third of ClubJenna's revenues, but over half of the profits.
Club Jenna was run as a family business, with Grdina's sister, Kris, as Vice President in charge of merchandising. In 2005 (8 years ago), Club Jenna had estimated revenues of $30 million, with profits of about half that.
Jameson also capitalized on merchandising herself. Since May 2003 (10 years ago), she has been appearing on a 48-foot (15 m) tall billboard in New York City's Times Square promoting her web site and movies. The first advertisement displayed her wearing only a thong and read "Who Says They Cleaned Up Times Square?" There is a line of sex toys licensed to Doc Johnson, and an "anatomically correct" Jenna Jameson action figure. She stars in her own sex simulation video game, Virtually Jenna, in which the goal is to bring a 3D model of her to orgasm. Jackson Guitars made a limited series of King V guitars with Jameson's likeness. Y-Tell, ClubJenna's wireless company, sells Jenna Jameson "moan tones" (telephone ringtones), chat services, and games in partnerships with 20 carriers around the world, mostly in Europe and South America. In 2006 (7 years ago), New York City-based Wicked Cow Entertainment started to expand her brand to barware, perfume, handbags, lingerie, and footwear, sold through high end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Colette boutiques. Her prominent merchandising and mainstream media coverage has been criticised as "obscene" by Morality in Media.
In Aug. 2005 (8 years ago), Club Jenna launched Club Thrust, an interactive website for Jameson's gay male fans, which includes videos, galleries, sex advice, gossip, and downloads. The director of webmaster relations for Club Jenna said the straight site had always had a lot of gay traffic. By 2006 (7 years ago), Club Jenna administered more than 150 official sites for other adult entertainment industry stars.
In Aug. 2005 (8 years ago), a group of business investors that included Jameson purchased Babes Cabaret, a strip club in Scottsdale, Arizona, intending to make it the first foray of ClubJenna into live entertainment. Soon after the purchase attracted attention, the Scottsdale City Council proposed a new ordinance banning nudity at adult-entertainment venues and requiring a four-foot divider restricting contact with dancers. Such a divider would have also effectively banned lap dances, the dancers' main source of revenue. Jameson argued strongly against the ordinance, and helped organize a petition against it. On sep. 12, 2006 (7 years ago), in a referendum on the ordinance, voters struck down the stricter rules, allowing the club to continue to operate as before.
On Feb. 3, 2006 (7 years ago), Jameson hosted a "Vivid ClubJenna Super Bowl Party" with several other Club Jenna and Vivid Girls at the Zoo Club in Detroit, Michigan for a $500 to $1,000 ticket price. It featured a lingerie show, but no planned nudity or sex acts. When first announced, the party caused controversy with the National Football League, which did not sanction this as an official Super Bowl event. For 2007 (6 years ago), Jameson signed up to play quarterback in the Lingerie Bowl, but retired due to her insurance company's damage concerns. She instead acted as commentator.
On Jun. 22, 2006 (7 years ago), Playboy Enterprises Inc. announced that it had bought ClubJenna Inc., along with an agreement to have both Jameson and Grdina stay on as contracted executives. Playboy CEO Christie Hefner said that she expected to rapidly ramp up movie production, producing about 30 features in the first year, and will expand the way they are sold, not only as DVDs but through TV channels, video-on-demand services and mobile phones. On Nov. 1, 2006 (7 years ago), Playboy renamed one of the Spice Network's pay-per-view channels from The Hot Network to ClubJenna.
In Apr. 2007 (6 years ago), Tera Patrick (12 walls) and her production company Teravision filed a lawsuit against Jameson and Playboy Enterprises for failing to properly account for and pay royalties on revenue earned by Patrick's website, clubtera.com.
Mainstream appearancesJameson is also known for achieving a level of celebrity outside of pornography greater than any porn star before her – even bringing pornography itself closer to mainstream society's awareness and acceptance. She has said: "I've always embraced my hard-core roots, but becoming a household name was an important thing to me."
In 1995 (18 years ago), Jameson sent photos of herself to radio host Howard Stern. She became a regular guest on his show, appearing more than 30 times, and played the role of "Mandy", the "First Nude Woman on Radio", in Stern's semi-autobiographical 1997 (16 years ago) movie Private Parts. This movie appearance was the beginning of a series of non-porn movie and TV roles. In 1997 (16 years ago), Jameson made an appearance for an Extreme Championship Wrestling PPV, Hardcore Heaven '97 as the valet for the Dudley family; another appearance at ECW Living Dangerously on Mar. 1, 1998; and a few months where she was ECW's on-screen interviewer. In 1998 (15 years ago), she filmed a vignette with Val Venis, a character in the WWE, for airing on WWE programming. In the late 1990s, Jameson guest hosted several episodes of the E! cable network's hit travel/adventure/party show Wild On!, appearing scantily clad in tropical locations.
Jameson (at right) as an animated version of herself in a 2001 (12 years ago) episode of Family Guy, "Brian Does Hollywood".Jameson was featured and interviewed on the British TV show "European Blue Review" on Channel 5
Jameson voiced an animated version of herself in a Jul. 2001 (12 years ago) episode of Family Guy entitled "Brian Does Hollywood". Her character won an award for acting in a porn movie directed by Brian Griffin, and at the close of the episode Peter Griffin kidnaps her. In 2002 (11 years ago), Jameson and Ron Jeremy played themselves in Comedy Central's first feature TV movie Porn 'n Chicken, in the roles of speakers for a pornography viewing club. Also in 2002 (11 years ago), she appeared in two video games, most notably voicing Candy Suxxx in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Her character begins as a prostitute, but goes on to success as a pornographic actress and is displayed on several billboards within the game. Her performance won the 2003 (10 years ago) G-Phoria "Best Live Action/Voice Performance Award – Female". She also provided both the appearance and the voice for "Daisy", a secret playable character for the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, who performs provocative tricks with her clothing and skateboard. In 2003 (10 years ago), Jameson appeared in two episodes of the NBC prime time TV show Mister Sterling as the girlfriend of a political financier.
Jameson also appeared in a 2001 (12 years ago) music video for the Eminem (16 walls) song "Without Me". She can be seen in bed with Eminem (16 walls) as one of the "two trailer park girls" that "go round the outside".
Some of her mainstream appearances sparked controversy. An interview with Jameson contained in the 1999 (14 years ago) Abercrombie & Fitch A&F Quarterly was part of the motivation for Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm and Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood to speak out against the hybrid magazine-catalog. The campaign was joined by parents and Christian conservative groups, and got the Quarterly removed from shelves and eventually canceled in 2003 (10 years ago).
In Nov. 2001 (12 years ago), the Oxford Union debating society invited Jameson to come to Oxford to argue against the proposition "The House Believes that Porn is Harmful." She wrote in her diary at the time, "I feel like I am going to be out of my element, but, I could never pass this chance up... it's a once in a lifetime thing." In the end, her side won the debate 204 to 27.
Penny Drake and Jenna Jameson on the set of Zombie Strippers, May 2007In Feb. 2003 (10 years ago), Pony International planned to feature her as one of several porn stars in advertisements for athletic shoes. This was attacked by Bill O'Reilly of Fox News in an editorial called "Using Quasi-Prostitutes to Sell Sneakers", calling porn stars inappropriate role models for teens. In response, The Harvard Crimson proposed a boycott of O'Reilly and Fox News. Jameson herself sent a sarcastic email to the show, writing:
I hope Bill understands the difference between a porn star and a hooker. I assume he has done some research on the subject because he requested some of my videos after we finished taping my appearance. I imagine he wanted them for professional reasons.
In the months following the publication of her autobiography, she was interviewed on NBC, CNBC, Fox News, and CNN, and the book was reviewed by The New York Times, Reuters, and other respected outlets.
Samhain, a 2002 (11 years ago) low budget horror movie in which she starred with other pornographic actresses including Ginger Lynn Allen, had sat unreleased until 2005 (8 years ago), when it was re-cut and released as Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain, with her featured prominently. She has another minor horror movie role in Sin-Jin Smyth, delayed from release in late 2006 (7 years ago), and a starring role in the comedy horror movie Zombie Strippers, released in 2008 (5 years ago). "Any time you mix really sexy girls and huge amounts of gore, it's gonna be a hit," she told Metromix.com
In Feb. 2006 (7 years ago), Comedy Central announced plans to feature Jameson as "P-Whip", in a starring role in its first animated mobile phone series, Samurai Love God. Mediaweek called her the biggest name attached to the project. In Apr. 2006 (7 years ago), Jameson was the star of a video podcast ad for Adidas, advertising Adicolor shoes by playing a provocative game of whack a mole. In Jul. 2006 (7 years ago), Jenna Jameson became the first pornographic actress to have a wax model at Madame Tussauds (in the Las Vegas museum).
Personal lifeWhile Jameson has stated in the past that she is bisexual, and that she has slept with 100 women and 30 men off-screen in her life, she has also stated she is "totally hetero". She has stated the best relationship she ever had was her lesbian relationship with porn actress Nikki Tyler, which she documents in her autobiography. They lived together at the start of her porn career and again before her second marriage. Famous male boyfriends discussed in her autobiography include Marilyn Manson and Tommy Lee.
On dec. 20, 1996 (17 years ago), Jameson married porn star/Wicked pictures (wallpaper) director Brad Armstrong (real name Rodney Hopkins). The marriage lasted just 10 weeks. Although they informally separated in Mar. 1997 (16 years ago), she remained contractually obligated to work on Wicked pictures (wallpaper) projects involving both of them. They legally separated and divorced in Mar. 2001 (12 years ago), after Brad discovered her sexual affair with Jorge Araya Montoya (whom she met in a visit to Costa Rica).
In the summer of 1998 (15 years ago), Jameson met former pornographic studio owner Jay Grdina (born John G. Grdina), scion of a wealthy cattle-ranching family, who had entered pornographic movie production after college. Since 1998 (15 years ago), he has been Jameson's only on-screen male sex partner, acting under the name Justin Sterling. They were engaged in dec. 2000 (13 years ago) — well before her divorce from Armstrong/Hopkins — and married Jun. 22, 2003 (10 years ago). They unsuccessfully tried to have children since mid-2004, as Jameson had planned to permanently retire from porn performing upon becoming a mother. The couple resided in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a 6,700-square-foot (620 m2) Spanish-style mansion, bought for $2 million in 2002 (11 years ago).
In Nov. 2004 (9 years ago), Jameson was diagnosed with skin cancer. Though surgery successfully removed it, she miscarried shortly after the diagnosis. She was unable to get pregnant again, even with in vitro fertilization. Jameson said the in vitro process "wasn't a good thing for me"; she gained weight and did not get pregnant. According to Jameson, the stresses of the cancer plus infertility led to her marriage's collapse.
In Aug. 2006 (7 years ago), Star magazine and TMZ.com confirmed with Jameson's publicist that she and Grdina had separated, and that Jameson was dating musician Dave Navarro.
In 2006 (7 years ago), she began dating mixed martial artist and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, whom she met on Myspace. Ortiz cancelled a Nov. 12, 2006 (7 years ago) appearance as the guest of honor at the United States Marine Corps birthday ball at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, when the Corps refused to let him bring Jameson as his guest. On Nov. 30, 2006 (7 years ago), in an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Ortiz stated that he is in love with Jameson, that she is no longer acting in pornography, and that they are in a monogamous relationship. On dec. 12, 2006 (7 years ago), Jameson filed for divorce from Grdina. She introduced Ortiz and talked about their relationship at the 2008 (5 years ago) AVN Adult Movie Awards while she was presenting an award. She also made brief appearances on two episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice to help Ortiz on the tasks assigned in those episodes.
In Mar. 2007 (6 years ago) at the AVN Awards, Jameson blamed her appearance on the divorce proceedings.
Jameson announced in Aug. 2008 (5 years ago) that she and Ortiz were expecting twins together in Apr. 2009 (4 years ago). On Mar. 16, 2009 (4 years ago) Jameson gave birth to twin boys named Jesse Jameson Ortiz and Journey Jette Ortiz. Jesse weighed in at 4 lbs and Journey weighed 4 lbs 11 oz.
Awards and nominations
External links to Jenna Jameson
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