What You Need To Know About Jessica Seinfeld

For many fans, Jessica Seinfeld is not just the wife of one of the wealthiest comedians alive, she is an icon in her own right (via Spock and Christine). The 49-year-old native New Yorker is the author of four best-selling cookbooks, including the popular "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets To Get Your Kids Eating Good Food," which stayed at number one on The New York Times bestselling list for nearly five months (via The Famous People).

Jessica is also the founder and president of the non-profit organization Good+Foundation, formerly Baby Buggy, which is a nationwide outreach program that partners with specifically-selected organizations that work to help those in need via the donations of goods and services. 

Some may be surprised to know that the famous author was not always known as Jessica Seinfeld, as she was given the name Nina Sklar on her birth certificate, but had her first name legally changed to Jessica in 1995 (via New York Post). That fun fact is just the tip of the iceberg where Seinfeld is concerned, as the philanthropist has led an interesting life.

Jessica and Jerry's marriage began with a scandal

It may be hard to believe that 20 years ago, the start of Jerry and Jessica's relationship was the focus of a public scandal, but according to Distractify, when the duo met in 1998, Jessica was still (newly) married to Broadway producer Eric Nederlander. It is reported that Jessica met Jerry at a Reebok Sports Club, where she fell head over heels for him after multiple attempts at making her laugh as she was filling her water bottle.

Although she has shared that her first marriage was failing when she met Jerry, the relationship between the two still created a New York shame-fest, and the New York Post reveals that Jessica was labeled a "runaway bride." In a previous Page Six report in the Post, Nederlander's mother, a marriage counselor and psychologist, compared Jessica to Monica Lewinsky — she called both women "starstruck" — while Eric himself stated, "Jerry and Jessica have no respect for decent values." 

According to Spock and Christine, in an interview with Vogue circa 2004, Jessica stated, "Jerry was neither the cause nor the effect of the breakup, but his friendship gave me strength and resilience at a time of desperate need, and it has formed the basis for my happiness in the years that have followed." Overcoming the controversy and scandalous accusations, the couple has managed to stay together for more than 20 years.

Jessica Seinfeld was accused of plagiarism

In 2007, Missy Chase Lapine, author of "The Sneaky Chef" cookbook series, slapped Seinfeld with a lawsuit claiming plagiarism (via CNN). Lapine stated that Seinfeld's first book, "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food" used Lapine's own ideas of sneaking healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, into recipes crafted specifically for children. Lapine's cookbook in question, "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals," was published six months prior to Seinfeld's.

According to Spock and Christine, all claims of the lawsuit against the author were dismissed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 10, 2009. CNN reports that Seinfeld's lawyer, Orin Snyder, stated, "The federal judge ruled that 'no reasonable fact finder could conclude' that copying occurred here given that the works are 'very different' and that Jessica's book 'has a completely different feel.' "

Jessica Seinfeld credits her mother for her philanthropic nature

According to Spock and Christine, it was in 2001, after having her first child, Sascha, that Jessica decided to donate the baby items that she no longer needed, rather than toss them. However, she wanted to do more than that; hence, "Baby Buggy" (now "Good + Foundation") came to fruition. Jessica says, "as the daughter of a social worker, throwing out perfectly good baby gear was unthinkable." It began with a simple donation event, in which she suggested that people give their gently used baby clothing and products they no longer needed to families who could use them.

In an interview with Nordstrom, Seinfeld recalls, "My mom is a social worker, so I grew up with a pretty deep understanding of the challenges that many people face in this country ... especially if you are financially struggling." This inspired the philanthropic spark within Seinfeld. She told Instyle in 2015 that, throughout her childhood, "I'd listen to my mother tell stories about the families she worked with, usually families with kids with special needs, and I really got to see how hard life is for families who are living below the poverty line."

Jerrys Seinfeld is quick to defend his wife

On more than one occasion Jerry Seinfeld has offered brazen and protective words on behalf of his wife. When Jessica was going through her plagiarism lawsuit, People reports that the popular comedian defended his wife publicly on the "Late Show with David Letterman," calling it the case of "vegetable plagiarism," and telling the host that he and his wife don't pay attention to the "wackos." 

Spock and Christine report that the "Late Show" stint had Jerry involved in a lawsuit of his own with Jessica's accuser, Missy Chase Lapine, who filed for defamation of character, which was eventually dismissed.

In 2019, Jerry went on about his wife to Closer Weekly, describing Jessica as "very sharp" and stating, "[She has] all the qualities that I like." He compliments her mom skills, too, revealing she is quick on her feet and that "She catches all the wrongness." The couple share three children together: Sascha, Julian, and Shepherd.

Jessica Seinfeld is a producer and screenplay writer

In addition to being a bestselling author, Jessica is also a producer, and has written screenplays, which include the 2010 series "The Marriage Ref" and the new animated children's series "Downtown Sprouts" ("in development," reports IMDb). Unfortunately, "The Marriage Ref" didn't fare well and received some negative criticism (via The Guardian). "Downtown Sprouts" reportedly will detail the life of a six-year-old girl living in New York City with a full farm on the rooftop above her family's farm-to-table restaurant. Deadline reports that Jessica teamed up with the production company Avalon to bring this series to fruition.

Of all the trials in Jessica's life, she has still managed to remain happily married, has created a huge and beneficial impact with Good+Foundation, and remains a best-selling author. Spock and Christine divulge that she has undoubtedly earned her net worth of $30 million, while her husband, Jerry, one of the wealthiest comedians globally, is worth a much more massive $950 million. The successful couple of more than 20 years certainly does have a lot to celebrate.