Jenna Marie Massoli was born on April 9, 1974 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Her father is Lawrence Massoli, an Italian-American program director for an NBC affiliate and a police officer.
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 February 20, 1976, before Jenna Massoli'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 Massoli. She was a frequent entrant in beauty pageants as a child, and took ballet classes. In her autobiography, Massoli writes that in October 1990, 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. She says she was raped a second time, while still sixteen, by her boyfriend Jack's biker uncle, Preacher. (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, double hearts on her right buttock. According to E!, Massoli's brother Tony, who later owned a tattoo parlor himself, added the inscription "HEART BREAKER".
Jenna Massoli 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 9 inches (175 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.
Massoli's boyfriend Jack encouraged her to apply for jobs as a stripper, and in 1991, 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-nosed pliers and was accepted. After six months, she was earning US$2000 per night, before finishing high school.
Her first stage name as a stripper was "Jennasis", a name she later used for incorporating as "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 decided on Jameson for Jameson Whiskey, which she drinks.
Besides dancing, starting later in 1991, she posed for nude photographs for photographer Suze Randall in Los Angeles, hoping to get into Penthouse magazine. Jameson was paid $300 per day, without rights to the pictures. After her photos had appeared in several men's magazines under various names, Jameson stopped working for Randall, feeling Randall was "a shark", and had been taking advantage of her.
While still in high school, Jameson began taking drugs—cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamines—accompanied by her brother (who was addicted to heroin) and at times her father. Her addiction became worse during her four years with her boyfriend. She eventually stopped eating properly and became too thin to model; Jack left her in 1994. 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 didn't recognize her when she got off the plane.
Pornographic film career
Jameson says that she started acting in pornographic films in revenge for her boyfriend, Jack, cheating on her. She first appeared in an erotic film in 1993, 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 films while still living in Las Vegas.
Jameson got her first breast implants on July 28, 1994, to enhance her stripping and movie careers. By 2004, she had had 2 sets of breast implants, and a chin implant.
Jameson's first pornographic film appearances were female only lesbian scenes. 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).At the beginning of her career, she promised herself never to do anal sex or double penetration scenes on film. She has also never done any interracial sex scenes with men. Instead, her "signature move" was oral sex, lubricated with plenty of saliva.
In 1994, after overcoming her 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 got her father's blessing to make a career out of pornographic films. Her first movie after that was Silk Stockings. Later in 1995, Wicked Pictures, a then small pornographic film production company, signed her to an exclusive contract. She remembers telling Wicked Pictures 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), where she played a reporter investigating a porn set; it won multiple AVN Awards. In 1996, 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, 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 films 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 November 2005, 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, Club Jenna. Winners of the contracts for the first two years were Brea Bennett and Roxy Jezel. In August 2007, Jameson had her implants removed; she also said she was finished with appearing on camera in pornographic films, though she would continue running ClubJenna.
Jameson has stated that she is bisexual, and that she has slept with 100 women and 30 men off-screen in her life. She has stated the best relationship she ever had was her lesbian love affair 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 December 20, 1996, Jameson married porn star Brad Armstrong (real name Rodney Hopkins). They were together for only ten weeks, informally separating in March 1997, though continuing to act together in pornographic films. They legally separated and divorced in March 2001.
In the summer of 1998, Jameson met former pornographic studio owner Jay Grdina (born John G. Grdina), scion of a wealthy cattle-ranching family, who had entered pornographic film production after college. Since 1998, he has been Jameson's only on-screen male sex partner, acting under the name Justin Sterling. They were engaged in December of 2000 — before her divorce from Hopkins — and married June 22, 2003 in a Roman Catholic-style ceremony. They unsuccessfully tried to have children since mid-2004, and Jameson planned to retire from acting in pornographic movies permanently after having their first child. The couple resided in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a 6,700-square-foot Spanish-style palace, bought for $2 million in 2002.
In November of 2004, Jameson was diagnosed with skin cancer. Though surgery successfully removed the cancer, she miscarried shortly after the diagnosis, possibly due to stress. 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 stress of the cancer and then being unable to conceive resulted in the collapse of her marriage.
In August 2006, Star magazine and TMZ.com confirmed with Jameson's publicist that she and Grdina had separated, and that Jameson was dating musician Dave Navarro. A more serious relationship seems to be with mixed martial artist and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz. Ortiz cancelled a November 12, 2006 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 November 30, 2006, 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 December 12, 2006, Jameson filed for divorce from Grdina.
In March 2007, Jameson blamed her anemic and gaunt appearance at the AVN Awards on the harsh divorce proceedings.
Jameson and Grdina formed Club Jenna as an Internet pornography company in 2000. ClubJenna.com was one of the first pornographic sites to provide more than pictures 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 multi-media pornographic entertainment, first by administering other porn stars' web sites, then, in 2001, by production of pornographic films.
Early Club Jenna films 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), 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 films averaged sales of 100,000 copies, compared to run-of-the-mill pornographic films, which did well to sell 5,000. On the other hand, he also said that their films took up to twelve days to film, compared to one day for other pornographic films.
In 2004, the Club Jenna films 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, Jameson directed her first film, The Provocateur, released as Jenna's Provocateur in September of 2006. The films were distributed and marketed by Vivid Entertainment, which Forbes magazine once called "the world's largest adult film 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, Club Jenna had estimated revenues of $30 million, with profits of approximately half that.
Merchandising capitalized on Jameson herself. Since May 2003, she has been appearing on a 48 foot 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 Rhoads 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, 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.
Club Jenna kept diversifying. In August 2005, 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, Club Jenna administered more than 150 official sites for other adult entertainment industry stars.
In August 2005, a partnership that included Jameson purchased Babes Cabaret, a strip club in Scottsdale, Arizona, intending to make it the first foray of Club Jenna 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 September 12, 2006, in a referendum on the ordinance, voters struck down the stricter rules, allowing the club to continue to operate as before.
On February 3, 2006, Jameson hosted a "Vivid Club Jenna 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, Jameson signed up to play quarterback in the Lingerie Bowl, but retired due to her insurance company's damage concerns. She will instead act as commentator.
On June 22, 2006, Playboy Enterprises Inc. announced the acquisition of Club Jenna Inc., in conjunction with personal service agreements by both Jameson and Grdina. Playboy CEO Christine Hefner said that she expected to rapidly ramp up film 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 November 1, 2006, Playboy renamed one of the Spice Network's pay-per-view channels from The Hot Network to ClubJenna.
In April 2007, Tera Patrick and her production company Teravision filed a lawsuit against Jameson and Playboy Enterprises for failing to properly account for and pay royalties on monies earned by Patrick's website clubtera.com.
1996 Hot D'Or Best American Actress
1996 AVN Best New Starlet Award
1996 AVN Award for Best Actress (Video) - Wicked One 1996 AVN Award for Couples Sex Scene (Film) - Blue Movie (with T.T. Boy)
1996 The X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) Starlet of the Year
1996 Fans of X-Rated Entertainment (FOXE) Video Vixen
1997 AVN Award for Couples Sex Scene (Film) - Jenna Loves Rocco (with Rocco Siffredi)
1997 AVN Award for Couples Sex Scene (Video) - Conquest (with Vince Vouyer)
1997 Hot D'Or for Best American Actress
1997 FOXE Female Fan Favorite
1998 AVN Award for Best All-Girl Sex Scene (Film) - Satyr (with Missy)
1998 Hot D'Or for Best American Actress - Sexe de Feu, Coeur de Glace
1998 FOXE Female Fan Favorite 1999 Hot D'Or for Best American Movie - Flashpoint
2003 AVN Award for Best All-Girl Sex Scene (Video) - I Dream of Jenna (with Autumn and Nikita Denise)
2003 G-Phoria Award for Best Female Voice Performance - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
2004 XRCO Award for Best Girl/Girl scene - My Plaything 2 (with Carmen Luvana)
2005 AVN Award for Best Actress (Film) - The Masseuse
2005 AVN Award for Couples Sex Scene (Film) - The Masseuse (with Justin Sterling)
2005 AVN Award for Best All-Girl Sex Scene (Film) - The Masseuse (with Savanna Samson)
2005 XRCO Hall of Fame 2005 XRCO Mainstream's Adult Media Favorite Award - How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
2006 AVN Hall of Fame 2006 AVN Award for Best Supporting Actress (Film) - The New Devil in Miss Jones
2006 AVN Award for Best All-Girl Sex Scene (Film) - The New Devil in Miss Jones (with Savanna Samson)
2006 AVN Award for Crossover Star of the Year
2006 F.A.M.E. Award for Favorite Adult Actress
2006 F.A.M.E. Award for Hottest Body
2006 Temptation Hall of Fame 2006 Temptation Award for Best Supporting Actress (Film) - The New Devil in Miss Jones
2006 Temptation Award for Best All-Girl Sex Scene (Film) - The New Devil in Miss Jones (with Savanna Samson)
2006 Temptation Award for
2006 Temptress of the Year
2006 Added to Adult Star Path of Fame in Edison, New Jersey
2007 F.A.M.E. Award for Favorite Performer of All Time