When the biggest porn star in the world was 11 years old, she borrowed a girlfriend’s crown and banner and hoofed it up and down the Las Vegas strip, trolling for sponsors who’d support her quest to become the next Miss Preteen Nevada. After charming this car dealership or that pizza parlor into forking over some dough, Jenna Jameson would go on to win every beauty pageant she entered.
Well, actually, this was all before Jenna Jameson even existed. Back then, she was just Jenna Massoli, the only daughter of a sheriff and a showgirl. At 14, she dropped out of the pageant circuit. At 15, her measurements jumped from A to D and she shoplifted her first bra. At 16, she left home and moved in with her dirtbag boyfriend. ”When I was 17, I knew that I was going to be a star,” she says, ”and I was going to become a star one way or another. It wasn’t about the money. I wanted fame.” So she followed in the footsteps of her mother (who died of skin cancer when Jenna was 4) and took off her top like all good showgirls do.
She didn’t become a porn star until she turned 18, after she ditched the costumes and feathers and started stripping for three to five grand a night at the Crazy Horse. ”Back then, I just wanted to win. I decided hey, the minute you take your clothes off you’re a porn star. I might as well take it to the next level. Go all the way.” And Jenna Jameson, the queen of a booming industry that pulls in a lowball estimate of $10 billion a year, was born.
Fast-forward through her 48 best-selling skin flicks to the present day, when Jameson, a 29-year-old blond tiger with snarling lip, lords over tourists from her three-story-tall Times Square billboard.
Since she came of age, she’s been used in ad campaigns for companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Pony, and Jackson Guitars. She’s started her own production company and a subscription website. ClubJenna.com — an online empire that includes exclusive footage, a plastic surgery center (which broadcasts live operations), stock quotes, news updates, and a shop that hawks, among other things, Jenna wine openers and Jenna Santa action figures — rakes in $5-15 million a year. There are plans for a ClubJenna wireless network, ClubJenna adult wake-up calls (naughty or nice, your choice), Jenna jeans, and Jenna ”booblehead” dolls (it’s not the head that moves).
She signed a six-figure contract with HarperCollins ReganBooks and will publish a memoir, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, cowritten by New York Times journalist Neil Strauss, next spring. She showed up in Howard Stern’s Private Parts, NBC’s Mister Sterling, and an Eminem video, playing a porn star in all three. Unlike Traci Lords, the only other adult actress to make a real break for Hollywood, Jameson embraces her blue roots. ”Everybody that I’ve met who is famous is real intrigued by who I am and what I do,” she says. ”Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was so cool! Jackie Chan. Sylvester Stallone…Elijah Wood once bum-rushed me! I’m standing there, and all of a sudden Elijah Wood and the other hobbit come up to me and are like, ‘Omigod, Jenna Jameson! Can we star in a movie with you?”’