Jennifer Gimenez, Hollywood, California on March 28, 2013
|Occupation||actress, model, sober living manager|
Jennifer Gimenez is an American model, actress and reality television personality. She has appeared in music videos for Tupac Shakur, Babyface and Mick Jagger, in films such as Blow, Vanilla Sky, and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and on TV shows such as The Bold and The Beautiful and Karen Sisco. She ranked 77 on Maxim magazine's 2001 Hot 100 list.
Gimenez is also a recovering survivor of substance abuse, and has appeared as the sober living House Manager for the VH1 reality television series, Sober House, a spinoff of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, on which she has appeared as a rehab technician at the Pasadena Recovery Center.
Gimenez, who is of Argentinean descent, was born in the United States, but lived in Argentina, in a village with dirt roads, until she moved back to the United States at the age of six. She has one brother.
Gimenez was discovered by photographer Bruce Weber one day at the age of 13, while she was enjoying an afternoon with her mother Nelida, and brother Dwight at the Santa Monica Pier. Webber thought the 5’6” Gimenez, who "hadn’t really developed", as she recalls, would make a good model.
Addiction and sobriety
In becoming a professional model, she became her family's provider, though this soon brought pressures, such as being encouraged to take sick days from school in order to lose weight. She also spent up to five hours at the gym and starved herself in order to accomplish this, and this eventually led to substance abuse.
Gimenez took her first drink at age 12, at 18 she found cocaine after she became a model. She began trying to quit drugs at age 20, but achieved only intermittent success over the course of the next 13 years.
Gimenez enrolled in acting class, and was soon cast opposite Johnny Depp in the 2001 film Blow. Though she managed to maintain her sobriety throughout her work on the film, she relapsed when it concluded production.
The sporadic nature of her sobriety changed when her mother and a friend convinced her to go to Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, California, where she came under the care of Dr. Drew Pinsky. Although she checked in for a five-day detox program, she ended up staying for nine and a half months, as she was, in her words, "broken and shattered". After finishing her treatment, she was taken aback when instructed to abstain from sex and relationships for a year, though she found that the 102 pounds she gained after quitting drugs facilitated this resolution, (at her heaviest, she was 257 pounds (117 kg).) and allowed her to, as she put it, "find the inner foundation" that she had been denied when she became a working professional at age 14. During her View appearance, she stated that she was sober for "four years and a few months".
Though Gimenez had never worked professionally in recovery, Drew Pinsky felt she was well-suited to the task of running the sober living facility depicted on Sober House, explaining, "Sober houses are often run by recently sober people. She was a tough patient that I thought could really relate to this group. And she’s an actress, so I thought it was a perfect match." Though Gimenez was surprised by the offer, and self-conscious about appearing on camera due to her weight, she accepted in order to further her own recovery process. Since the first season of the series, she lost 100 pounds, and returned to going from a size 16 back to a size 6. She became good friends with fellow recovering addict Andy Dick, and intends to resume acting.
On July 14, 2013, Gimenez made guest appearance on Celebrity Wife Swap as Andy Dick's girlfriend. Dick also starred alongside his ex-girlfriend and mother of his 15-year-old daughter Meg, Lina Sved. Sved also has two other daughters from a previous relationship.
Gimenez stated in a February 2009 interview that she was in relationship, and that her boyfriend was also a recovering addict.
- "The 2001 Hot 100 List". Maxim. April 16, 2009
- "Sober House 2 With Dr. Drew - Peep the Cast". VH1. February 25, 2010
- Gimenez, Jennifer (March 29, 2010). "Sunday, March 28th. Journal". Retrieved March 30, 2010.
I do not run a sober living home or work in recovery in my daily life...I was brought in because of my recovery and that Ive been where these people have been...
- "Intake Sneak Premiere". Season 5, Episode 1, VH1. accessed June 22, 2011.
- "Bio". JennGimenez.com. accessed March 6, 2010
- Bacon, Caleb. "Meet Jennifer Gimenez: VH1's 'Sober House' Mom". LAist. February 4, 2009
- The View, ABC, March 17, 2010
- The Adam Carolla Show. July 19, 2011. 43:44 and 52:31 minute marks
- Bacon, Caleb. "Jennifer Gimenez: Back For ‘Sober’ Maternity" LAist; April 8, 2010
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