Jennifer Maria Syme
December 7, 1972
Pico Rivera, California, U.S.
|Died||April 2, 2001 (aged 28)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Traffic collision|
|Burial place||Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, California|
|Partner(s)||Keanu Reeves (1998–2000)|
Jennifer Maria Syme (December 7, 1972 – April 2, 2001) was an American actress and personal assistant. She was in a relationship with Keanu Reeves from 1998 until their break-up in 2000, following the stillbirth of their daughter.
Early life and career
Syme was born in Pico Rivera, California, where she lived for the first eighteen years of her life. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, she landed a job working for director David Lynch. Syme had a few minor film roles including a part in Lynch's Lost Highway. She later joined the staff of a music label. She was also a personal assistant to Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction and, later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
On December 24, 1999, she gave birth eight months into her pregnancy to Ava Archer Syme-Reeves, her child with actor Keanu Reeves. The child was stillborn. The strain put on their relationship by their grief resulted in their breakup several weeks later.
On April 1, 2001, Syme attended a party at musician Marilyn Manson's home. After being driven home by another party guest shortly before dawn, she left her home, reportedly to return to the party. On the morning of April 2, Syme drove her 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee into a row of parked cars on Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles. She was partially ejected from the vehicle and died instantly. Syme was 28 years old. Syme is buried next to her daughter in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
An investigation into the collision concluded that Syme was not wearing a seatbelt and was inebriated at the time. Reports also stated that police found two rolled up dollar bills that contained a white, powdery substance and two bottles of prescription drugs, a muscle relaxant and an anticonvulsant. Syme's mother told police her daughter was seeking treatment for back pain and depression just a few days prior to her death.
In tribute to Syme's memory, David Lynch dedicated the 2001 film Mulholland Drive to her. In April 2002, Syme's mother, Maria St. John, sued Marilyn Manson for wrongful death for giving Syme "various quantities of an illegal controlled substance" and for "instructing [Syme] to operate a motor vehicle in her incapacitated condition". Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Manson issued a statement denying responsibility for Syme's death, stating that the lawsuit was "completely without merit".
- Lost Highway (1997) - Junkie Girl
- Ellie Parker (2005) - Casting Chick (posthumous credit, final film role)
- "Reeves keeps to himself after ex-girlfriend's death". Houston Chronicle. AFP. 2001-04-05. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
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- Schneider, Karen S. (2001-04-23). "Too Much Sorrow". People. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- Fleming, E.J. (2015). Hollywood Death and Scandal Sites: Seventeen Driving Tours with Directions and the Full Story (2nd ed.). McFarland. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7864-9644-0.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (2002-04-03). "Marilyn Manson Accused Of Contributing To Friend's Death". VH1. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- "Marilyn Manson denies crash claim". BBC News. 2002-04-08. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- "Manson, Minnelli Star In L.A. Law". The Smoking Gun. 12 May 2011.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (2002-04-09). "Manson May Fight Wrongful Death Suit With Countersuit". MTV. Retrieved 29 November 2009.