It’s not an unusual Hollywood story: Wife supports hubby through their marriage and her pregnancy until he hits it big and splits. But when it comes to a lovable megastar like Jim Carrey, it is particularly surprising.
While Carrey has spoken out about the pending divorce to People, the Los Angeles Times and Howard Stern (despite the couple’s confidentiality agreement), his wife, Melissa, has remained mum - until now.
Melissa, 34, told me that her 33-year-old husband went from no money and a ninth-grade education to big money, fast cars, a girlfriend and an entourage of sycophants.
From the day the couple met, they discussed the pitfalls of Hollywood marriages and vowed it would never happen to them. Easy to say when the wife worked two jobs and the husband earned $150 a week.
Now he’s denying her contribution to the marriage altogether, she maintains, and is even trying to fake the date of their separation to keep his wife - and by extension their daughter, Jane - from sharing in his bounty from “The Mask.”
When the couple got married, and for two years afterward, Melissa held two jobs. She toiled as a waitress at the Comedy Store and as a masseuse at a health club in L.A. to pay the bills. Jim made $25 a night doing standup at the Comedy Store. She worked through her eighth month of pregnancy.
California law says that all income earned during the marriage is split on the day the couple legally separates. “He says (we) split June 15 (1993), which oddly enough just happens to be the day he signed on for $7 million for ‘The Mask,”’ Melissa said. She maintains that they didn’t break up until he called her in October to say he wasn’t coming home.
“I wake up every day in shock that he is doing this. This is a man I went to church with, a man who used to have lunch with our minister.”“Just before he left to do ‘Ace Ventura,’ he celebrated our sixth anniversary by renting the ballroom of the Peninsula Hotel. He hired a band and had just one table put in - for the two of us.” He serenaded her, then flew to Florida the next day to begin shooting and never came home.
Jim’s average gross monthly income for September 1994 was $697,156. He offered Melissa a onetime-only settlement of $500,000, and $25,000 a month for alimony and child support. And, last October, he reportedly bought a $4 million mansion in Pacific Palisades.
Jim has visitation rights with their 7-year-old daughter, but when he comes by, Melissa said, “It’s Chinese water torture. … I still hurt bad - I still have moments when I lock myself in my room. But I have my disciplines - I … read, I have my daughter. In the beginning I yelled and screamed when he refused to work on the marriage. I acted like a jerk. I should just have let go.”
Meantime, Jim has been carrying on a very public affair with Lauren Holly, his co-star in “Dumb and Dumber.” “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what happened,” Melissa said. “I personally think she may have been involved a lot sooner than they are letting on.”
Melissa said Jim has shown a complete disregard for their little girl and called her only once a week when filming “The Mask.” “It’s a very tired Hollywood cliche - but it was uppermost in his mind to be a star instead of having an intact family. We knew the pitfalls, but he didn’t keep his end of our bargain.
“Does he hate me? I believe he loathes me. It goes back to his mom and dad. His dad gave up a saxophone career for them … he saw me as doing the same.
“It’s funny,” she said, “if Jim said ‘I want to come home’ now, I’d say no. I was happy to take on the traditional wife and mother roles. He knows I’m a good woman, a good wife, a good mother. But, you know what? He’s not good husband material. Marriage takes empathy, commitment and sacrifice. The dude has changed.”
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