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Jerry Seinfeld and His Wife First Met While She Was Married to Someone Else

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Comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his wife Jessica have been married for 20 years — quite the achievement! Everyone loves seeing people who have made their relationship last through the test of time. Interestingly enough, Jerry and Jessica’s relationship could have ended up looking very different — after all, Jessica was actually married to someone else when they first met. How did Jerry Seinfeld meet his wife? Read on to find out!

How did Jerry Seinfeld meet his wife?

In the summer of 1998, Jessica was newly married to Broadway producer Eric Nederlander, but she wasn’t happy. In a 2007 interview with the New York Times, Jessica said that she and Eric had been having problems in their relationship before their June 13 wedding. In July, Jessica and Eric went on a honeymoon in Italy. 

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Within two days of returning to New York, Jessica started moving her stuff out of their shared apartment. “She basically went right to my grandmother’s house from the airport,” said Jessica’s sister Rebecca Shalam. Shortly after that, Jessica had a chance meeting with comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

It happened at the Reebok gym on the Upper West Side. Jessica said that Jerry approached her and tried to make her laugh while she was filling her water bottle. “I was going through a difficult time, and I was approached by Jerry Seinfeld and he attempted to make me laugh, and I was really not interested in being entertained at that moment.” But Jerry didn’t give up. “He came around again and said something funny, and I actually had to laugh,” Jessica said.

Jerry invited her to a taping of his HBO special, and she agreed to come. Shortly afterward, Jessica told Jerry the truth about her current situation. “I told him I didn’t think this was the right time for me to be involved with anybody,” she said. “I told him the story and he looked at me with such compassion and said, ‘Give me a hug.’ I barely know this person and all he has is compassion for how much pain I was in.”

As it turned out, Jerry was even more empathetic than most people might be regarding Jessica’s failed marriage. He revealed to her his own failed relationship history — in 1984, he had been engaged to fellow comedian Carol Leifer (one of the inspirations for the character of Elaine in Seinfeld), but ultimately called off the wedding.

Jerry and Jessica got married on Dec. 25, 1999.

Eric filed for divorce in October of 1998. Jerry and Jessica continued dating before getting engaged in November of 1999 and got married in December of that same year — accompanied by comedian George Wallace, who was Jerry’s best man.

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At the time, Jerry and Jessica’s relationship was seen as a bit of a scandal due to Jessica’s recent marriage to someone else. However, more than 20 years later, we’d say it’s pretty obvious that Jerry and Jessica were truly meant to be, and their relationship seems as strong as ever. They have three teenage kids, the oldest of whom just started college, and judging by Jessica’s Instagram account, the family seems to really love being together. Here’s to another 20+ years!

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