Childhood & Early Life
Jenna Jameson was born Jennifer Marie Massoli, on April 9, 1974, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her father, Laurence Henry Massoli, was police officer at the ‘Las Vegas Sheriff's Department.’ Her mother, Judith Brooke Hunt, was a club dancer. Judith died of skin cancer in February 1976, when Jameson was barely 2 years old. The cancer treatment rendered them bankrupt, and they had to live in trailer houses. Jenna’s paternal grandmother helped raise Jenna and her elder brother, Tony.
As a child, she learnt ballet and participated in beauty pageants. She attended ‘Bonanza High School.’ She later revealed in her autobiography that she was raped twice in her teens, once by a gang of four boys in Montana and again by her boyfriend’s uncle. She left her home to live with her boyfriend, Jack, who was a tattoo artist.
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Jenna followed in her mother’s footsteps and started working as a Vegas showgirl. However, the work did not fetch her enough money, and she quit the job. Her boyfriend, Jack, persuaded her to work as a strip dancer. She used fake papers, as she was underage, and shortly began earning $2,000 per night. She changed her name to “Jenna Jameson,” choosing a well-known brand of Irish whisky as her surname.
Aspiring to be a ‘Penthouse’ model, she posed for photographer Suze Randall, in 1991. However, she soon realized that she was being exploited. Her brother, Tony, was already addicted to drugs such as heroin. Jameson, too, followed him and soon got addicted to cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD. She lost a lot of weight and was sent for rehabilitation to her father and grandmother in Redding, California.
Soon, she decided to turn into a adult film artist. Her father did not accept her decision. In 1993, she appeared in her first adult movie. Her first adult video shoot involved an intimate scene with other female. This is how female adult-movie performers begin their careers, as such scenes make them feel more comfortable than shooting with male performers. In 1994, she did two more films, ‘Up and Cummers 10’ and ‘Up and Cummers 11.’ She was noticed by people and did some more adult films while still in Las Vegas.
Jameson had her first breast implant done in 1994. She then moved to Los Angeles and lived in with girlfriend and colleague Nikki Tyler. She signed a deal with the adult-movie production company ‘Wicked Pictures,’ and her first significant project with them was ‘Blue Movie’ in 1995. It earned her three awards and she became the first adult star to win all three big awards of the industry for her first major adult film.
By 2001, she had begun earning a substantial sum from her adult DVDs and strip-club dances. She shot for around five films a year and performed for two weeks a month at strip clubs.
In 2000, she, along with Jay Grdina, founded an adult entertainment company, ‘ClubJenna.’ It was a unique site that provided videos, pictures, and relationship advice. The business later expanded, and they ventured into managing sites for other adult stars and producing X-rated movies. Jameson performed in the initial films. The first ‘ClubJenna’ film, ‘Briana Loves Jenna,’ turned out to be the bestselling adult film of the year and won a number of awards. She stopped performing in their films after 2004. However, she later directed the film ‘Jenna’s Provocateur’ (2006). By 2005, the company had an annual worth of $30 million, with nearly $15 million as profit.
She also ventured into promoting he video game ‘Virtually Jenna’. In 2005, she and other investors purchased a strip club, ‘Babes Cabaret,’ in Scottsdale, Arizona. The ‘Scottsdale City Council’ tried to restrict their activities, but Jameson arranged a petition and earned the permission to operate as before. ‘ClubJenna’ was taken over by ‘Playboy Enterprises’ in June 2006, and Jameson was retained as an executive.
In 2004, she released her autobiography. It was co-written with Neil Strauss and published by ‘ReganBooks,’ a division of ‘HarperCollins.’ It swiftly became a bestseller and remained on ‘The New York Times Best Seller’ list for six weeks. Her second book, the erotic fiction novel ‘Sugar,’ was released in October 2013.
She had her double breast implants removed in 2007 and retired from her work as an adult star. However, she continues to work for ‘ClubJenna.’ After her retirement, she appeared at the 2013 ‘Exxxotica New Jersey’ convention, and later that year, she began working as a webcam model. In January 2014, she was the MC for the ‘2014 XBIZ Awards.’
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Jameson also appeared in mainstream films and shows. She played a role in radio host Howard Stern’s movie ‘Private Parts’ (1997). This was followed by appearances in other mainstream TV shows, such as shows on ‘Extreme Championship Wrestling’ (ECW) and ‘World Wrestling Entertainment’ (WWE). She also appeared as a guest host on the ‘E!’ travel show ‘Wild On!’ She was part of Eminem’s music video ‘Without Me’ (2001). Jameson provided voice to the character ‘Candy Suxxx’ in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.’ She also worked in two horror movies.
After the release of her autobiography, Jameson appeared on TV, for a number of interviews. She represented the US in the 2015 season of ‘Celebrity Big Brother,’ the British reality show.
Awards & Achievements
Jameson has won more than 35 awards for her contribution to the adult entertainment industry.
In 1996, Jameson won three noted adult film industry awards: 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 awarded the 2003 ‘G-Phoria Best Live Action/Voice Performance Award – Female’ for ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.’
She was the first adult star to have her wax model at ‘Madame Tussauds’ in Las Vegas.
‘ClubJenna’s’ first film, ‘Briana Loves Jenna,’ won two ‘AVN Awards.’ Her autobiography won the 2004 ‘XRCO Award’ for ‘Mainstream’s Adult Media Favorite,’ in a tie with the series ‘Family Business.’
She was inducted into the ‘XRCO Hall of Fame’ and the ‘AVN Hall of Fame.’
In 2004, Jameson claimed that she was bisexual and had slept with a hundred women and thirty men. Toward the beginning of her career, she lived with her colleague and girlfriend Nikki Tyler. However, in 2008, she stated that she was completely heterosexual.
She married her adult-movie co-star and ‘Wicked Pictures’ director Rodney Hopkins, better known as Brad Armstrong, in December 1996. Although they separated within 10 weeks, she had to continue working with him because of her contract. They divorced in March 2001.
Jay Grdina, also known as Justin Sterling, was her only male adult-movie co-star from 1998 till her retirement. They got engaged in December 2000 and got married in June 2003. They lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jameson conceived in 2004 but was diagnosed with skin cancer. The cancer was removed surgically, but she suffered a miscarriage and could not conceive again with Grdina. These events affected their relationship, and they divorced in 2006.
The same year, she started dating Tito Ortiz, a mixed martial artist, and later married him. She gave birth to their twin sons, Jesse Jameson and Journey Jette, in March 2009. The next year, Ortiz was arrested for domestic abuse at their Huntington Beach home. He accused her of substance abuse. They separated in 2013. Prior to that, in May 2012, Jameson was arrested in California for driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.
Jameson converted to Orthodox Judaism in November 2016, as her current boyfriend, Lior Bitton, is Jewish. Lior is a jeweler from Los Angeles and has reportedly been arrested for fraud. She gave birth to their daughter, Batel Lu Bitton, on April 6, 2017.