Jim Carrey’s movies are beloved, but the man himself is private enough that you may not know he has a daughter. Well, he does – and her name is Jane Erin Carrey. In fact, she was the grinning little girl perched next to her father during his Hollywood handprint ceremony in 1995. But she doesn’t look like that anymore. And actually, she’s now a parent herself.
Now Jane is Carrey’s only child. And her mother is Melissa Womer, who was once a waitress at the place that young Carrey honed his skills. You’ve guessed it, The Comedy Store in Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood. So Carrey married her in March 1987, and Jane came along later that year. At that point, Carrey was far from the A-lister he would become.
Throughout the marriage, Womer held two jobs. And she claimed that she kept working right into her eighth month of pregnancy with Jane. Meanwhile, Carrey earned $25 per show at the Comedy Store, reportedly $150 a week. But as soon as Carrey made it big as a comedian and actor, the relationship appeared to crumble.
So sadly, in 1995 the couple divorced. And as you can guess it wasn’t amicable. For instance, Womer went to the New York Daily News and slammed him. Meanwhile, Carrey gave interviews to People, the Los Angeles Times and radio maverick Howard Stern. Now he had several movies under his belt by then – Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask among them. But Womer thought fame had driven them apart.
In fact, Womer told the New York Daily News, “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.”
At the time, Jane was only seven. And Womer claimed that while Carrey had visitation rights, whenever he came to see her “It’s Chinese water torture.” Yes, she pulled no punches when speaking about the end of the relationship. “In the beginning I yelled and screamed when he refused to work on the marriage,” she said. “I acted like a jerk. I should just have let go.”
However, Womer also claimed that Carrey only spoke to his young daughter once a week while 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,” she said. “We knew the pitfalls, but he didn’t keep his end of our bargain.” But the row didn’t end there.
For Womer implied that Carrey was trying to keep her – and Jane – from receiving money they were entitled to. Now all income made during a Californian marriage is split up on the day the couple officially parts ways. “He says [we] split June 15 , which oddly enough just happens to be the day he signed on for $7 million for The Mask,” Womer claimed at the time.
And then there was the problem of Lauren Holly, Carrey’s co-star in the hit movie Dumb and Dumber. Indeed, plenty of photographers had seen them together. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what happened,” Womer told the New York Daily News. “I personally think she may have been involved a lot sooner than they are letting on.” But one thing was for sure: Womer was not happy with Carrey’s alleged behaviour.
“If Jim said ‘I want to come home’ now, I’d say no,” Womer said. “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.”
Predictably, as often happens in Hollywood, Carrey bit back in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I don’t give a s**t about money,” he said. “I just want to get to a judge, and he tells me what to pay. And that’s all. That’s all. If he tells me, ‘You owe her everything,’ then, you know, so be it. I create my own thing. All you want is a ruling. Bring it on.” Furthermore, the claim that the A-lister left his wife for a Hollywood “goddess” hurt Carrey.
And the actor went on, sounding quite different from his movie personas, “All these things come up – like, well, ‘he went Hollywood’, and ‘he left his wife’, and s**t like that. Well, it wasn’t about that, you know, it was f***ing everything was up in the air. Everything. You know, how the hell did I know that Ace Ventura was going to be a hit? I didn’t.”
What’s more, even Lauren Holly and Melissa Womer also had things to say to Rolling Stone“They keep calling me a homewrecker,” Holly said. “I feel for Melissa, but they were completely apart when Jim and I met.” As for Womer, she revealed she had been giving Jane a bath when Carrey called to say he was divorcing her.
But at least the two women involved didn’t appear to dislike each other. For instance, Womer said that the most important thing was her and Carrey’s child. And Jane, she said, “likes [Holly], and that’s what counts. She’s a nice person.” Furthermore, Womer had managed to surpass “the panic attacks and extreme emotional depression” she faced at the start of the split. So what about Carrey himself?
Well, Carrey sang the praises of his new girlfriend to Rolling Stone, saying, “I am absolutely head over heels in love right now. It’s wonderful. Lauren Holly is absolutely the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth to me right now, and she is brilliant, talented, selfless, caring, loving, the best combination of everything you could ever think of.”
But The Mask actor didn’t want to jinx things by deciding Holly was his soulmate forever. “I just don’t want to live a lie, that’s all,” he told the interviewer. “Lauren and I have been real careful about not being that cliché – the tattoo on the arm. I’m with Lauren because she really makes me happy. And the day that I don’t make her happy, you know, I hope she f***ing leaves me in the dust.”
And unfortunately, Carrey’s words proved prophetic. For although he and Holly did wed in the end, the marriage lasted a mere nine months. Yes, Holly filed for divorce in July 1997, citing “irreconcilable differences.” And an anonymous source suggested to People that Carrey’s career eclipsing Holly’s might have partly been to blame.
After Holly, Carrey ended up dating Renée Zellweger, who starred alongside him in Me, Myself and Irene. For a while, it seemed like they might make it. “It was a very unexpected, wonderful thing,” Zellweger told Entertainment Weekly in 2000. “It was just a really natural thing to want to be around each other.” To add to that, it emerged Carrey was also spending more time with another important person in his life.
That’s right, in the same interview, Carrey revealed he was now spending lots of time with Jane, who had turned 12. As he went on to explain, “I feel like it’s become much more important for me to have a life and have real human relationships and do my own laundry from time to time and do the menial things I lost touch with when I first became a so-called star.”
Now Carrey and Zellweger had split up by the beginning of 2001. And director Ron Howard, who worked with Carrey on The Grinch, spoke to People magazine about it briefly. Yes, he said “the media attention just heightened the pressure” on the couple. But Zellweger’s rep on the other hand told the publication, “They just wanted different things.” However, speculation arose that one of those “different things” involved parenthood.
Indeed, according to an anonymous source who spoke to The National Enquirer in January 2001, “Renee also wants kids but Jim has a teenage daughter by his first wife Melissa and he’s in no rush to have any more children.” But that certainly wasn’t the only reason for the split, reportedly. Another reason, it was claimed, was something to do with going down the aisle.
You’ve guessed it, the source claimed that the A-listers had gotten engaged, but Zellweger “flipped” when Carrey kept postponing the wedding. “She told Jim he was either going to set a date within six months or she was hitting the road… He started screaming at the top of his lungs that Renee had no right to issue him an ultimatum,” the source alleged. But Zellweger had more to say on the matter.
Yes, according to Zellweger herself, the couple were never engaged. And in April 2003 she told Cosmopolitan, “The English (news)papers wrote that I was proposed to in a West End restaurant with a ring, and they included the size and cost of the ring. But it was all made up… As if I would consider marriage after only three months!”
Meanwhile, another story about Carrey made the papers that year. Reportedly, Womer had asked a L.A. Superior Court judge to get her ex-husband to increase his child support payments. Now, Jane lived with her mother most of the time, and Womer apparently wanted her to have a “prestigious lifestyle.”
In a leaked court document, Womer demanded more of her A-lister ex. “Jane is now fifteen years old and her reasonable needs have increased significantly. Jane is exceptionally gifted academically and possesses great talent in the arts,” Womer stated. “As Jane’s talents grow, her educational expenses also increase accordingly.” And there was more.
For the ex wife also indicated that an earlier scenario – Carrey neglecting to spend time with his daughter – hadn’t changed. In the court document on website The Smoking Gun, she noted, “Petitioner [Carrey] constantly cancels his visitations with Jane, sometimes without letting her know. When Jane performed at the annual school holiday show, where she sang lead vocals and played guitar with her jazz band, Petitioner did not attend.”
But there was more – as Womer went on, “Petitioner [Carrey] modifies his visitation with Jane so often she has become discouraged and depressed.” Furthermore, she claimed Carrey “usually picks her up late for his every other weekend visitations”, and “never attempts to make up his lost visitation time with Jane unless I bring it to his attention.”
So overall, the court document didn’t present a very promising picture, even if it was from only one point of view. And yet, as years went by, it seemed everything started to work out. For in 2012, a 24-year-old Jane got a chance to show off her “great talent in the arts.” What’s more, she also discussed her relationship with her father.
For you see, Jane appeared as a contestant on American Idol, and viewers might have gotten quite a shock. Yes, because she had grown up a lot since the time she appeared with her dad at his footprint ceremony. And although she appeared to have inherited some of her mother’s features, she bore a striking resemblance to Carrey.
Furthermore, people watching might have been surprised to learn that Jane was a parent now, which made Carrey a grandfather, too. Indeed, Jane explained to the cameras, “I am a mom first, waitress on and off for about six years probably, and a musician. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, always in the school plays, I’m a huge ham, I always like to be on stage… Well, my dad is Jim Carrey.”
What’s more, Jane was not only a mother at that point, she was also a divorcee. For she had been married to Blood Money musician Alex Santana, the father of her son Riley. And they had married in November 2009, but unfortunately split just a few years later in 2011. As you might guess, “irreconcilable differences,” was the reason stated.
Of her relationship with her dad, Jane told the American Idol audience, “It was definitely fun growing up with him as a father. He’s definitely not the most extravagant celebrity so it’s been fairly normal. Fairly!” But she was a little worried about trying to break into showbiz. “I feel like there is this pressure to maybe be better,” she said. “If I make it somewhere I run the risk of people saying, ‘You’re only here because of this.’”
So Jane sang “Something To Talk About,” in front of judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler. And when the time came, they all gave her a “yes” to take her through to the next round. After earning that win, Jane called up her father, who said of her, “She’s so wonderful and amazing to me, I can’t wait for the world to see… This is going to be an exciting year.”
Unfortunately, though, Jane was eliminated in the first night of the following round. And she tearfully told the cameras, “I know I can do way better than that and so I’m really disappointed in myself.” But later she said, “I talked to my dad and he was really comforting and he said, ‘I’ve been said no to a bunch of times,’ and it worked out well for him in the end so hopefully I have a shot.” Also, Carrey wouldn’t leave his daughter to lick her wounds alone.
Yes, Carrey supported his only child in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “I’m very proud of Jane,” he announced. “I believe in her talent as a singer and songwriter. Difficult moments are a necessary step along the path to success.” And luckily Jane was far from giving up on her dreams.
For in November 2018 she became a guest host on the MTV show Catfish. And she spoke to the website TV Insider about her exciting new role. “I’m friends with people involved [with the show],” she said. “Everything just kind of worked out naturally, and I was very excited to get to be a part of it.” But that’s not all.
Interestingly, TV Insider asked Jane, “A lot of this show is improvisation, which your dad is a pro at. Did he give you any advice?” And she answered, “I guess I’ve been watching him over the years. I’ve seen him in those situations. You forget the cameras are even there. You’re just standing there with real people. All the reactions are genuine.”
As Jane continued to explain, “He was definitely supportive of me being on the series. He was a fan of the documentary, too, and had seen the show. He said to me, ‘This is so right up your alley! You’re going to have such a great time’.” Indeed, when the episode aired, Carrey tweeted out some support for his daughter.
That’s right, Carrey wrote on the official Catfish Twitter account , “So proud and excited for @JaneCarrey23! #ProudDad.” Also, in the comments somebody wrote, “I’m sure she’s an even prouder daughter,” and Jane responded with “Truth!” Touchingly, it seems the relationship between them is now a pretty good one. And furthermore, Jane showed that she’s certainly a girl with her feet on the ground in spite of her Hollywood heritage.
For instance, On Catfish itself, Jane pondered, “My parents had problems and I had problems. Wealth doesn’t make you happy necessarily, regardless of being on TV.” But she also said, “You go through all the same things that everyone else goes through. It was a different experience but it was never boring.”