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Jenna Jameson's Birthday, or, How to Turn 40 Like a Porn Star

Jenna Jameson earlier this year at the XBIZ Awards
Jenna Jameson earlier this year at the XBIZ Awards
Photo by Gustavo Turner

In February, a random publicist, whom I'll call Stacy, put me in touch with Jenna Jameson's "manager," Allen Meme. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I was told she had agreed to an interview with me. Jameson was on the verge on turning 40. This interview would help her in her promised comeback to the porn industry, which she'd left - and denounced - in 2008.

"She could definitely use some good press right now," Stacy tells me. Jameson told TMZ last November that she was returning to porn to provide for her family, but she'd more recently cancelled all her media appearances after a questionable interview on a Fox New York morning news show. Her words were slurred and incomprehensible; naturally, the footage immediately went viral. She blamed her odd affect on staying up too late and being tired after appearing on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live the night before.

This interview would help. It was not going to be live on camera. I'd be happy with a 15-minute phone call.

Then as quickly as she said yes, she went missing.

"Jenna's avoiding press right now." Stacy, the very publicist who'd set up the interview, breaks the news to me."She fired Allen, she doesn't trust him, don't talk to him."

"I can probably get in touch with her myself."

"How is that?" she asks.

"I'm a reporter, it's what I do."

There is moderate panic in her voice. "Well, you'll have to clear any contacts you have through me."

I say yes to appease her, but then Allen Meme himself calls me later that day, and says we'll figure something out for the interview. I am promised a call back on the following Monday.

No call comes; my emails and texts go un-returned.

See also: 10 Porn Stars Who Could Be the Next Jenna Jameson

Meme's website is nothing but a logo with his name, and "Models, Fashion Photography" - no contact information or anything else to click on, although Jameson has said he's Mariah Carey's longtime manager. (The L.A. Times has reported that Carey's current manager is Jermaine Duprie.) On Instagram, Meme's profile is littered with selfies of him pursing his lips Zoolander-style to the camera, and the random occasional picture of Mariah from back in her glory days.

By mid-March it becomes clear that Jameson and Meme are hanging out again. Jameson starts appearing in Meme's Instagram feed with hashtags such as #bestfriendsforever. He posts pics of them eating Mexican food together, driving in the car together, shopping and going to the tattoo parlor for her weekly appointment. Both of Jameson's arms are almost completely covered in sleeve tattoos. "I love the pain!," she comments on a picture of a blue rose tattoo healing on her elbow, followed by numerous smiley face emojis.

If someone is avoiding the media and truly wants to be left alone, they do not advertise their whereabouts on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter. It's as easy to get lost in the public eye as it is to be found, even in 2014.

Jameson's had a total of three Instagram accounts over the past year. The first, JennaJameson, deflated after being hacked into by a former assistant. The other, JennaJennaJameson, mysteriously disappeared a few months later. But her current account, Jennawins, is updated at least four times a day. She's managed to keep her Twitter account under her first and last name, constantly "favoriting" romantic quotes, and musing about how her day is going. She'll rant about her frustrations with her ex, or post photos of herself at a photo shoot - both followed with a plethora of hashtags.

See also: 10 Innovative Porn Stars Who Could Be the Next Sasha Grey

On Instagram, you can also find photos of Jameson's twin sons, with MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, and photos with her friend and former personal assistant, Britney Markham. Neither Ortiz nor Markham is hard to find; neither is unwilling to talk about their relationship with Jameson.

A self-proclaimed socialite and writer, Markham met Jameson on Twitter in 2013. They became fast friends; soon, Jameson offered Markham a job as her personal assistant.

"She was very friendly the first time I met her," she says. "I felt like I had known her for years." Then the request for drugs came; Markham says Jameson's pills of choice were Xanax, Ambien and Suboxone (which promises to help people struggling with opioid dependence), along with alcohol. Despite rumors, Markham insists that Jameson does not take Oxycodone, which causes complications with Suboxone. These were prescribed to different parties, or easily attainable from a friend.

More warning signs surfaced.

Jameson's sons Journey and Jesse were turning four in March 2013. But Jameson spent the day hanging out with Markham.

"We got butt injections on her sons' birthdays. She didn't even want to see them. That's when I realized, wow, this woman is really, really unstable. She would hide sake bottles from when we would get sushi behind her bed, and just drink and not eat."

Jameson at the XBIZ Awards with Christian Felix
Jameson at the XBIZ Awards with Christian Felix
PHOTO BY GUSTAVO TURNER

Markham stayed loyal, becoming almost a babysitter to Jameson. "She would drink like a fish and pop pills and treat me like a slave. I was afraid of what she'd do to herself, so I'd be by her side as much as I could," Markham recalls.

Then, the night before Jameson's 39th pre-birthday party, Jameson was arrested for assaulting an unknown male. She ended up missing her own party, but was released just in time to go to Las Vegas for her actual birthday.

A few weeks after the birthday extravaganza, the two were at a hair salon in Los Angeles when Jameson punched her assistant in the stomach with a brass knuckles iPhone case. The blow was so severe, Markham vomited blood and was hospitalized, she says. She finally tried to distance herself, filing a restraining order against her supposed friend.

A few months later, Markham was told that Jameson was acting delusional and she had been deserted at a Redondo Beach hotel.

"If I didn't show up, I think she would've died that night. She didn't even recognize me. I brought her home with me and let her stay for a month. One minute she was fine; the next she was snapping on me and trying to fight me in my own home." Still not wanting to give up on her friend, Markham helped Jameson move into an apartment across the street from her own with a roommate. But being neighbors only made the situation worse. "She stole my friend's phone, ID and credit cards one night. That's when I realized that she would truly never change."

Markham testified against Jameson being capable of having partial custody of her children during one of the few court dates Jameson attended. "I couldn't lie to the judge," Markham says.

"After her kids' birthday this past March, she didn't do anything or try to see them and hasn't seen them for almost a year. She threw hot soup in my friend's face! I realized this woman would always be physical. I would stand up for myself and she didn't like that." The two still are not speaking.

Jameson also met the father of her twins online - only this was before things started falling apart, in 2006. This happened on MySpace. At the time, she was still the biggest porn star in the world; he was an MMA fighter. The two began messaging one another, and spent hours talking on the phone.

Ortiz professed his love (and declared their monogamy) on The Howard Stern Show, hinting that Jameson would be leaving the industry soon for good. Shortly after she officially announced her retirement at the AVNs. Now she could focus on becoming a mother. Life seemed normal, maybe too normal.

"She moved to Los Angeles from Arizona and she was beautiful, smart and funny," Ortiz said. But after she gave birth to the twins in 2009, she began to unravel, Ortiz says. Leaning on prescription pills and alcohol, she began drinking in front of her children, day and night. Ortiz put surveillance cameras in their home to document those incidents.

"I'm the kind of person who wants to fix things. If you tell me something can't work, I will try and make it work. I tried." He's open about his past reckless behavior, including DUIs and drug charges, but he says he's used it to make him stronger. Though he still fights (he's preparing for a fight this month), he wants to be an actor. He recently played an MMA fighter on CSI. "I really love acting, I'm focusing on the craft more than anything," he says.

Jameson hasn't made an effort to see her sons in more than nine months, he says. She's only allowed supervised visits, and those cost approximately $150. She's been known to say that she doesn't think she should have to pay to see her own children.

"She's missed several court dates and doesn't reach out. You can't change someone if their way of thinking is embedded in their personality," Ortiz says. "I wish her the best, and I hope she gets the help she needs, but I don't think she has much longer... I see the photos of her ass implants and her getting tattooed every week. It makes me sad. Her fans don't really know what's going on." Of her children, he says, ""She acts as if she never had them."

I decide to go to Los Angeles to track Jameson down myself. Upon arrival, I call Meme and let him know I'm in town, and that I've spoken with Tito Ortiz.

Ten minutes after I've left the message, for the first time in months, I get a call back.

Allen Meme says that Jameson is afraid that doing an interview will make her look bad.

He proceeds to tell me how happy Jameson is. She's entered the world of tattoo modeling. Meme tells me that Jameson has been promised the cover of prominent tattoo magazine Inked. She's also, oddly, getting into the world of cosplay: attending conventions like Comic-Con for money, costumed in bright anime costumes, and selling polaroids. "She's reaching new demographics. She's happy now."

Before our conversation is over, Meme offers me a chance to meet a pop star named Neon Hitch. (I decline.) He then assures me that Jameson will speak with me, and at the least answer three questions I had carefully selected for her via email.

Jameson with Christian Felix at the XBIZ Awards
Jameson with Christian Felix at the XBIZ Awards
PHOTO BY GUSTAVO TURNER

At this point, Jameson's Instagram feed becomes filled with pictures of her children, and herself cuddling with a rescue pitbull. I'm assuming this is because she's been informed that I'm serious about interviewing her, but the façade only goes on for so long. A few days later, the ass and tattoo pics are back in place - only this time with hashtags such as #imnohomewrecker and #iraisedmykidsright, and #diehaterz, #iraisedthemallmyself. No one seems to realize that the newly posted photos of her twin boys are from over two years ago.

When Jenna Jameson retired from porn, she was 33 years old, and still at the top of her game. Just a few years before, her autobiography spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her website, ClubJenna, had estimated annual revenues of $30 million, and though she'd sold to Playboy Enterprises, she reportedly stayed on contract as an executive.

With Jameson's hopeful return to the industry came a dose of reality. Porn is no longer what it once was; now that anyone can put up a video online, the professionals are no longer raking in as much money. And forget about the concept of a "porn star"; now the industry is filled with Webcam girls. The website that bears the name ClubJenna is now owned by Moviebox, a Canadian company. Jameson receives no compensation from the site, nor from JennaJameson.com. Attempting to revive some kind of web presence she acquired JennaJameson.net. The site has nothing on it.

Lately, she's gone the "camming" route. With a profile on MyFreeCams.com, her fans could sign up and be lucky if she happened to log on and agree to do a private show with them. It's only happened twice. After becoming a member of the site, hoping I can buy her time via webcam chat for an interview, I realize it's been over a month since she logged on. Perhaps the camming wasn't working out. Many successful webcam girls can make up to $8,000 a month, an amount that most likely seems like chump change, considering she used to make much more for a day on set. Or for appearances at various strip clubs, where her base rate as a feature dancer was at one point as high as $10,000.

"She's the only porn star who could ever make that much money for an appearance, but she doesn't even dance anymore," one club owner tells me.

I find myself disassociating the world's most famous pornstar version of "Jenna Jameson" from the real Jenna Jameson, the one I've been circling. I look at them as two separate people. The real Jenna doesn't have time for a three-question interview, but she does have time to lash out at various people on Instagram.

I arrive in Los Angeles the day of Jameson's 40th birthday. I stalk her Instagram profile for any party activity, but Jameson keeps things tame and posts pictures of a plasma television she received, and a bouquet of balloons, and numerous selfies.

She never gets back in touch with me, never responds to the questions I've sent her through her manager.

Through Meme, I'd asked how it felt to turn 40, what her plans were for returning to the adult industry, and what sort of legacy she wants the world to remember her by. My email goes unanswered. My phone never rings. I text Meme the article will run with or without her.

He responds via text, even as their Instagram photos suggest they're partying in Las Vegas.

"When is it printing?" he asks. I reply that it will be in the next week.

I never hear from him again. I leave Los Angeles in late April, after being there for two weeks. I had spent the past three months trying to give Jameson a chance, numerous chances. I'm tired of trying to chase someone who clearly would rather be seen than have her side of the story be heard.

At 7 a.m. the morning after Jameson's 40th birthday, she posts on Instagram, "Goodnight." That day, Ortiz tells me, she misses another court date. On April 10, 2014, the court grants Ortiz full custody of their children.

The night before my story is set to be published, I finally hear from Meme. He says he could get me an exclusive interview for a fee. He suggests $3,000 to $5,000.

Randi Newton is a New York-based journalist. Follow her on Twitter @WorldofRandi or check out her website at worldofrandi.com.


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