Jaimee Monae Foxworth is an American actor and model, best known for her portrayal of ‘Judy Winslow,’ as a child artist, in the American sitcom ‘Family Matters’ (1989). Her character suddenly disappeared from the show after the fourth season, without any justification in the storyline. This garnered a lot of public interest about her, but the production never explicitly explained her sudden removal. After almost 10 years, it was reported that she had ventured into the adult film industry during her absence from mainstream TV. She once had an intriguing interview with Oprah Winfrey, where she revealed the events of the years after ‘Family Matters’ and sent out a message to all young artists who lose their way around Hollywood. After her TV stint was over, Jaimee formed an R&B musical group called ‘S.H.E,’ with her two sisters. She battled substance abuse and depression during her years of struggle but now leads a sober life. She is a full-time mother and says her only priority is to make sure her son has a good life.
Childhood & Early Life
Jaimee Monae Foxworth was born on December 17, 1979, at the ‘Scott Air Force Base’ in Belleville, Illinois, US.
Her mother, Gywen Fox, was an American talent agent, and both her sisters, Tyren and Jania, were child actors. She started her modeling career at the tender age of 5, appearing in national commercials, and eventually got her break on the small screen.
She struggled getting back to a non-celebrity life after her character was taken off-air. In 1998, she graduated from ‘Burbank High School’ in California. It was difficult for her to attend a public school, as all the other children recognized her as a TV celebrity, which isolated her from the rest of the students.
Throughout her tenure as a TV artist, Jaimee’s earnings were locked up in a trust fund, which was her assurance of a safe future, but she could never taste the fruits of her labor. It is believed that when she was 20 years old, her parents, who were stuck in a lawsuit at the time, were allowed by a judge to use all the money to avoid bankruptcy.
She, however, denied the bankruptcy rumor in an interview in 2009.
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Jaimee started her mainstream acting career in 1986, with a role in one of the episodes of the TV series ‘Amen.’ Two years later, in 1988, she earned another TV role, in ‘TV 101,’ which featured her as ‘Whitney Hines’ in an episode named ‘Home.’
Her big break came with the role of ‘Judy Winslow,’ the youngest daughter of ‘Carl’ and ‘Harriette Winslow,’ in the long-running ‘ABC/CBS’ sitcom ‘Family Matters.’ The series revolved around an African–American middle-class family living in Chicago, Illinois.
Though the sitcom ended in 1998, Jaimee was removed from the cast in 1993, by the end of the fourth season. This was done after the introduction and instant success of the character ‘Steve Urkel.’ Jaimee’s scenes were significantly reduced, and in her last scene on the show, she was seen going up to her room, before disappearing without an explanation. Judy Winslow’s removal was later attributed to “budget cuts.” She was 13 at the time of her departure from the show.
‘Family Matters’ became her swan song, and with very little acting work coming her way, Jaimee formed an R&B musical group named ‘S.H.E’ with her two sisters. The group was featured by Shaquille O’Neal in his second album, ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ (1997). They released their first single, ‘My Secret Is,’ which was part of their debut album, ‘3’s a Charm,’ on July 1, 1997.
As a 19-year-old, she was primarily surviving on small modeling assignments, when she found out she could make more money in the adult film industry. In 2000, Jaimee made headlines when it was discovered that she had been working in pornographic movies, under the pseudonym “Crave.” She had appeared in movies such as ‘More Black Dirty Debutantes 30 and 32,’ ‘The Adventures of Peeping Tom 28,’ and ‘Booty Talk 20: Super Fine Sistas!’
She appeared on the TV show ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’ in 2008, to talk about her struggles with substance abuse and alcoholism. She had made a similar appearance on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ in 2006, in an episode called ‘Former Child TV Star Reveals the Biggest Mistake of Her Life.’ In 2009, continuing her series of revelatory interviews, Jaimee appeared on the ‘TV One’ show ‘Life After.’
It is rumored that after Jaimee’s parents went bankrupt and used up the actor’s trust fund amounting to more than $500,000, she went into depression and destitution, resorting to alcohol and drugs. She, however, denied the news of any bankruptcy in an interview in 2009.
She had developed drug addiction and alcoholism during her teens. Intoxicated and pressured by her boyfriend to earn quick cash, she agreed to do an explicit sex scene. According to her, it was the lowest phase of her self-esteem.
She was featured in ‘People’ magazine in 2008, where she revealed that she was pregnant and wanted to turn a new leaf in her life. She credits her sobriety to her baby boy, born on May 29, 2009, in Los Angeles. She named him Michael Douglas Shaw, Jr.
In 2017, ‘Entertainment Weekly’ did a reunion photo shoot with the original cast of ‘Family Matters.’ However, they did not invite Jaimee to the event.
On ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, Jaimee expressed remorse for not staying in school or going to college, which could have opened up career opportunities for her as an acting coach or a doctor after her sitcom stardom faded.