On 1 November 1972, Jenny McCarthy was born to her parents, mother Linda McCarthy, who worked as a court custodian, and father Dan McCarthy, who worked as a foreman in a steel mill factory. She came from a blue-collar, Catholic family and was the second of four daughters of Linda and Dan.
From a young age, all the girls in the family were instilled with catholic faith and living in the suburbs of Chicago in Evergreen Park, Illinois. She was enrolled in Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and wore a uniform to school (trust us; it will be important later on). She was a cheerleader in high school, and Jenny also stated she was bullied in high school.
Jenny McCarthy was born in the suburbs of Chicago.
Source: Instagram @jennymccarthy
Jenny joined Southern Illinois University, where she studied for two years, but her plans were not about getting an education and doing a 9 to 5 job. She wanted to be in show business, and this led her to the show business capital of the world Hollywood where she was hired to be on the Playboy magazine. But the reason Jenny McCarthy is famous is not because of her playboy cover; it is because of the staunch belief that vaccination causes autism.
Beginning of Her Career; The Playboy Debacle!
Jenny McCarthy started her career working in Playboy Magazine.
The actress was only starting out in the world of show business when she was selected out of 10,000 prospective applicants to make the Playboy centerfold appearance. The reason Hugh Hefner gave for her selection was, as the man put it, her “wholesome Catholic girl” sensibility.
Playboy is known for push buttons, which is what they did in the centerfold of the October 1993 spread. We talked before about the model being raised in a catholic family and going to school and wearing a uniform. Well, in the centerfold, the model used her former school’s sweater in the photoshoot, and the whole thing caused an outcry from the catholic community.
Jenny McCarthy used a schoolgirl uniform for her appearance on the Playboy Magazine.
Source: Fortune City
The model was paid $20,000 to appear in the centerfold, and after the issue was released, her home was pelted with eggs, and there were protests against her. The whole catholic schoolgirl theme was something, which appalled the religious community, and the entire debacle took a while to settle down.
After the success of her issue, Playboy named her Playboy Playmate of the Year 1994 for which she was paid $100,000. As the saying goes, “Any publicity is good publicity,” the whole Playboy debacle brought a lot of notoriety to her career and made her stand out in the industry. Jenny utilized her newfound fame and moved away from modeling for a while and went into movies and TV shows.
Meeting Her First Husband John Asher, Birth of Their Son and the Anti-Vaccination Fight
John Asher and Jenny McCarthy were married in 1999.
Source: Daily Mail
Jenny was partly done with her modeling career and instead switched her focus to movies and TV shows to broaden her appeal. She already made a lot of fire in the modeling world and needed to transition her fame into a new career in recorded media. She was working on the movie Diamonds with the director John Asher when the two fell in love in 1998.
The relationship continued, and the couple got married on 11 September 1999. They continued working together, and in 2002, the couple welcomed their first and only child, son Kevin McCarthy was born in May 2002. The kid was healthy at the time of birth, but in May 2005, he was diagnosed with autism.
John Asher and Jenny McCarthy became parents to their kid Evan who was diagnosed with autism.
Source: Daily Mail
The diagnosis put a strain on the couple’s relationship, which was too much to handle, and the duo got divorced in September of 2005. Jenny later stated the diagnosis and John’s inability to handle the pressure was the reason the couple got divorced.
When the diagnosis was reached, the actress went on a tear, blaming vaccination and saying vaccines were the reason for her son’s autism. She later wrote books on the influence of vaccine in generating autism in children, citing different medical research which was later debunked she drummed up the fear for the vaccine.
Evan Joseph Asher was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
Source: Height Line
Seeing a prominent figure talking about the harm of vaccines riled up some people, and she is now considered to be one of the prominent faces of the anti-vaxxer ideology. McCarthy later on in her life disputed the name put on her calling herself “pro-safe-vaccine-schedule,” which really did not go down well with the general public.
Jenny is not as vocal now as she was back in the day, and there are even claims her son was not even suffering from autism. Evan was said to be dealing with Landau-Kleffner syndrome, which shows symptoms like autism but is not one, but even the claim of misdiagnosis was disputed by the actress early on but later came around. In an interview with Daily Beast, the actress said, “Evan's amazing... He doesn't meet the diagnostic characteristics of autism. He definitely has quirks and issues from the seizures. He has a little bit of brain damage due to his seizures. He doesn't qualify for any more services, but he does have issues in his school.”
Relationships Outside of Her First Husband
Ray Manzella and Jenny McCarthy were in a relationship from 1994 to 1998.
Source: Daily Mail
After the Playboy model was done with her magazine shoots, she got a manager Ray Manzella whom she started dating in 1994. The duo went out for a while, and their relationship lasted for four years when the two called it quits and went their separate ways in 1998. The same year, she started dating her movie director John Asher whom she married (see above).
Finding Love with Jim Carrey
Jenny McCarthy was in a relationship with Jim Carrey for about five years.
Source: The Mirror
The actress was going through a divorce and was heartbroken by the diagnosis of her son in 2005. There were responsibilities on her, Kevin was going to require more care, and she needed to be more at home mom, so getting in a relationship was never in the plan for the actress.
John Asher and Jenny’s divorce was finalized in September of 2005, and after a few weeks, she met Jim Carrey, and the duo hit it off quick. There was an instant connection, and the two fell in love. By the time Christmas of 2005 rolled into town, the lovebirds were dating, but there was no confirmation of their relationship till mid-2006.
Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy separated after five years of relationship.
Two years after going public with their relationship, Jenny made her way to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she confirmed the two moved in together but were not looking getting married anytime soon or ever. Jenny said they do not need a paper to label the relationship the couple share.
The couple was together for five years and was in love, but the relationship was not meant to be. They separated by the time 2010 was in full effect, and then the couple announced they were splitting up in April 2010.
Getting Married a Second Time with Donnie Wahlberg
Jenny McCarthy confirmed she was dating Donnie Wahlberg in 2013 while appearing in 'The View'.
Source: E! News
For a few years after the relationship with Jim Carrey ended, the actress focused on her TV career and her social activism. But love came knocking back on her door, and she met Donnie Wahlberg with whom she struck a friendship which turned into love.
Jenny confirmed the two were dating in July 2013, and after she started her regular stint on The View, she announced her engagement, which happened on 16 April 2014. She also announced to the live audience the couple was getting married soon.
After a year of dating, Dannie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy got married in a beautiful ceremony.
Then, on 31 August 2014, Jenny walked down the aisle for the second time. To this day, they are still married and are without any kids except for the ones from their previous marriages.