I first met Jesse James in 1993, at a comedy club in New York City.
He was doing a stand-up show called The Daily Show, and he wanted to play the lead.
I’d seen him at the New York Comedy Festival, and I liked his material.
We were in love with one another, and it was very clear to me that he was the only comedian I wanted to be around.
I remember being very impressed by his delivery and his sense of humor.
We became fast friends, and when I was a kid, I was always drawn to the fact that he would always say things like, “I love the way you’re going through life.”
That’s what he meant by that.
We had this mutual appreciation for each other.
In 2006, I met him again for the first time in New Jersey, at an event I was at.
We went to the Jersey Shore for a weekend, and we stayed in a hotel room.
He asked me to do an interview, and then he walked away and came back and said, “Well, you know, it’s not like I’m gonna be here.”
It was like a kiss-off.
I was so shocked.
I thought he was just joking, but I knew it was a really bad idea.
I said, What?
You’re not going to be back?
And he said, Oh, my God.
I didn’t know what to say.
I went to his room, and my heart was broken.
And I was like, You have no idea what’s going on.
You’re gonna get married and move to France.
I wasn’t prepared for what he did to me.
I mean, I’ve been married three times.
I know what it’s like to get married, and to have kids, and have a good job, and go on tour, and everything.
And he was so angry.
It was almost like a betrayal.
I had been very supportive of his career.
He had the greatest work ethic.
I think it was all about money, and money could not buy him happiness.
And there was a lot of money.
We talked about money.
And we went to dinner, and there was wine.
He wanted to spend it on wine, because he thought that it was an investment.
He thought he had it all figured out.
I’m like, How did you get there?
And it was this huge shock.
I started to cry.
I knew then that he really didn’t want me.
He said he loved me, and wanted to see me again.
And then, he said that I had to go and meet him at his house, which was right across the street.
It had been three months since I’d left New York.
He brought me there.
I got out of there in a cab, and his parents drove me to the airport.
They came out and sat me down in a chair in the back of the car.
I looked at him.
I asked him how it was going.
And his parents were like, Why don’t you go home?
You know, you were gone three months.
I just looked at them, and said no, I’m not going.
I love you, but that’s it.
I never spoke to him again.
Jesse James, born Jesse James Jr., died April 26, 2021.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.