Though many know her as Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld has made a name for herself outside of her famous husband’s fame. Not only is she a New York Times best-selling author, but she’s a philanthropist who runs a successful non-profit organization that provides essential items for families in need.
Jessica, whose real name is Nina Danielle Sklar, was born on Sept. 12, 1971, in Oyster Bay, New York, according to IMDB. A Manhattan judge legally changed her name to Jessica in 1995, as per the New York Post. However, it’s unclear why she got it changed. Jessica graduated from the University of Vermont before working as a publicist for Golden Books Entertainment and Tommy Hilfiger, according to a 1998 profile in The New York Times.
She and Jerry met in 1998 while she was newly married to her first husband, Eric Nederlander — and their relationship caused quite a stir at the time. Keep scrolling to find out the truth about Jessica, including her career endeavors and the dramatic start to her second marriage.
Jessica Seinfeld got accused of plagiarizing
Jessica Seinfeld is the author of not one, but four New York Times best-selling cookbooks, including Food Swings, The Can’t Cook Book, and Double Delicious. Despite her success, she was accused of plagiarizing the cookbook, Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food, in 2007. In the lawsuit, author Missy Chase Lapine claimed Jessica stole ideas from her cookbook about sneaking vegetables into children’s food, The New York Times reported. She said she submitted a book proposal about the exact topic to Harper Collins and was rejected twice. The publishing company Perseus Books Group later published Lapine’s cookbook (The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals) in April 2017, and six months later, Harper Collins published Seinfeld’s book.
Lapine alleged copyright infringement, trademark violations, and unfair competition, but a judge ultimately sided with Jessica in 2009. Though the judge found some similarities in the two books, the ruling stated that “no reasonable fact finder could conclude” that the works “have the same aesthetic appeal.”
But wait — the legal drama didn’t stop there. Lapine later sued Jerry Seinfeld for calling her a “wacko” during a talk show appearance, arguing the dig hurt her reputation. A judge dismissed the claim in 2011, ruling that the comedian had the right to express his opinion, per NPR.
Jessica Seinfeld started a foundation for parents in need
In 2001, Jessica Seinfeld founded GOOD+ Foundation, a nonprofit that “works to dismantle multi-generational poverty by pairing tangible goods with innovative services for low-income fathers, mothers and caregivers.” The organization, which was first called Baby Buggy, earned her a spot on Fortune‘s “Insiders List” in 2016. In the interview, she opened up about how she got the idea for her start-up: “After the birth of my first child, I had more baby gear than I needed, and disadvantaged new mothers had nowhere near enough. Why not find a way to get the goods into their hands?”
Now, nearly 20 years later, the GOOD+ Foundation has partnered with more than 100 anti-poverty organizations nationwide and has opened offices in New York and Los Angeles. It has also donated over 50 million essential items like cribs, diapers, and strollers to “contribute to a healthier, safer environment for parents and children.” They’ve also received donations from big brands like Kim Kardashian’s Skims, Johnson & Johnson, and Nordstrom.
Keep scrolling for an inside look into Seinfeld’s personal life, including how she met Jerry Seinfeld.
Jessica Seinfeld met Jerry when she was married
Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld got married in 1999 and are proud parents to three children: Sascha, Julian Kal, and Shepherd Kellen. But did you know the couple came under intense scrutiny for tying the knot just over one year after meeting in a New York gym in 1998, according to The New York Times. Why? Because Jessica was technically married to her first husband, Eric Nederlander, when she and the comedian first met. But as Jessica told the NYT, she and Nederlander were done by that point.
However, Nederlander claimed to Page Six that he was “manipulated, misled, and completely caught off guard by Jessica’s infidelity.” He added, “Jerry and Jessica have no respect for decent values. They deserve each other.” Ouch.
It seems like Jerry and Jessica were are destined to be together, though, with the Seinfeld star revealing that laughter is the secret to their longtime marriage. “From the day I met her, that was really our connection,” the comedian told Closer Weekly in 2019. “We always have fun and we laugh and she’s got a great sense of humor. She’s very quick and sarcastic and all the qualities that I like. She’s very sharp. She catches all the wrongness.” As for Jessica, she told People that Jerry is “the most incredible communicator.” Aw.
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