Jenn Sterger’s name probably rings a bell.
She’s had quite the year since Deadspin revealed a scandalous secret last October. NFL quarterback Brett Favre was sexting her X-rated photos of himself and and leaving unwelcome voice messages.
The scandal created a ripple effect, both for Sterger and the world. Now MTV runs PSA’s discouraging teens from sending naughty phone photos; Anthony Weiner tweets himself in the buff. For Sterger, her career exploded.
Now she’s hosting a number of TV and web episodes; she’s even dabbling in the NYC startup scene.
Yesterday we spoke with Sterger. She gave us her honest take on:
- The Brett Favre scandal
- Her relationship status
- Her stint in startups
- Her advice to Anthony Weiner’s sext victims.
- The secret gig she’s been working on
Business Insider (BI): Most people know you from the October Brett Favre scandal, but you actually had an entertainment career before that. What was your first break?Jenn Sterger (JS): People always call [my career] Pamela Anderson-esque. I don’t know why that is, because I don’t have a sex tape.
BI: That’s a good thing.
JS: I was discovered in the stands in a 12 second clip [as a college senior at a Florida State football game in 2005]. Announcer Brett Musberger voiced over and said, “1,500 red-blooded men just decided to apply to Florida State.”
That became a viral recruiting video almost. [The press] pulled the pictures out of my Facebook and everyone was trying to hunt me down for the next couple of days. It just kind of snowballed from there.
I shot Maxim and Playboy within the next month and a half. It was crazy from there on out.
I wasn’t planning on going the modelling route. But it just kind of presented itself, and I had always wanted to be in the entertainment industry. I had never really had any luck with auditions or castings. Even meeting agencies they’d be like, “You don’t have the right look.” I would just be crushed.
So when I got an opportunity I thought, This may be my only shot, I might as well run with it. And that’s where I am now.
BI: How did you end up working for The Jets?
JS: I started writing a weekly column for Sports Illustrated and that led me to do a lot of public appearances. I got invited to games at The Meadowlands. The Jets and their fans always enjoyed having me there, so [the team] created a role for me. I would come in, entertain fans before games, and interview celebrities. And that’s how I ended up in New York actually…I’m still living in Brooklyn.
I was born in Miami, raised in Tampa, and then went to school in Talahassee. So I gradually made my way north. I came up here for that [Jets] job and, like most women, I came up here for love as well. I thought it was going to be all “Sex and the City,” and it was definitely not.
BI: So you moved for love — have you found it?
JS: No, I definitely didn’t find [love] yet. I’m still looking for it. I think Carrie Bradshaw and those girls are such filthy liars! I am looking for love, just like every girl is up here. Trying to balance that and a career is quite a feat.
BI: There are a lot of girls feeling the way you felt back in October now that the Anthony Weiner situation has come to light. What’s your advice to them?
JS: Weiner in general is overplayed, in every sense and phrase of the word. I’ve been asked about it a couple times, and I really can’t comment on how other people handle their situations because every situation, though it may seem similar to the general public, is different. You can’t really advise people on how to handle scandal when it arises. You just have to go with your gut and go with the people who are advising you at the time.
BI: You waited two years before saying anything about Brett Favre’s sexts. Why did you wait so long?
JS: I waited because I didn’t have any plans for it to come out in the first place. It happened two years ago, and I was kinda forced out of hiding regarding the situation. Believe me, if I never had to address it publicly, I’d be much happier.
BI: But like you said, everything happens for a reason. You definitely have a lot of opportunities now and I’m sure getting your name out there a little bit helped… JS: Yeah, but trust me, there’s a difference between good press and bad press. I don’t care what people tell you. A lot of it’s been making sure people get to know the real me and get to know my side of the story.
BI: What have you been working on lately?
I am now with Fuel TV and it’s been an absolute blast. I shot the Hometown Throwdown with them in March in Wisconsin. Fuel is very focused on action sports like snowboarding skateboarding, and dirt bike riding. My program is about average Joes proving they’re the toughest guys in town. We’re talking about doughnut makers, peanut farmers, butchers and parole officers.
The second episode airs [tonight]. We’re waiting to hear whether or not there will be more of them. It’s been very well-received so far.
[As for other projects] I have a couple of NDAs signed. I’ll also be be working with the website, BroBible. BroBible is a really cool men’s lifestyle website. They’re doing an entire relaunch this weekend — a whole new look. My video segment will be part of the relaunch.
JS cont’d: I love BroBible’s vibe. I’ve always been one of the guys and this site kind of allows me to play out that side of my personality. Like most men, I have a great appreciation for female beauty, so the weekly segment I’m doing for them is their “Hotties Index.” Each week I’ll break down their top five choices of hotties and weigh in on them.
BI: There’s a rumour that you’ve been working with a New York startup, YouAre.TV.
JS: YouAre.tv came about because I was good friends with the guys over there. They brought me to the studio a couple of times because I love doing web casts. I told them I’d help them beta test the software. It’s been a lot of fun. I haven’t really signed an agreement with them. I’m not necessarily working with them, it was just a project that I enjoyed working on.
Photo: Jenn Sterger via SI
BI: Have you known the founders for a while? JS: Yeah, we’ve been buds for a while. I meet people all the time through Facebook and through different connections I have out there. That’s how I met [founder Josh Weinstein].
Josh approached me a while ago and told me about this cool project he’d been working on. I told him, “When you guys are ready to launch, I’d love to help you out.” I gave them my feedback as far as how the software was working for me as a host, and noted the things I thought they could improve.
[i would sign on as an actual YouAre.TV host] if I had time. It all depends on scheduling.
BI: Where do you want your career to go? TV? modelling? Writing?
JS: I’m kind of a jack of all trades. modelling is the lowest thing on the totem poll. It’s not something I enjoy doing anymore. If it’s for promotional purposes for something I’m working on, great. I’m a trooper. I’ll do pretty much anything they ask me to as far as promotional stuff goes because I like backing the projects I work on. I support them. But it’s not the thing I want to do the most.
Plus whoever heard of a 5″2 model, realistically? I’m more of a flip-flops and Converse kind of girl.
I’ve been working on a lot of different things in the comedic realm – some scripted, some non-scripted. A lot of improv. I’m still figuring this whole entertainment industry. Sports will always be part of what I do, but it’s not necessarily my main focus any more.
BI: Sports does seem to be a common thread. Do you play any or just enjoy watching them?
JS: The only sport I’m actually good at is bowling. I think it’s because it’s played in air conditioning, and I’m such a baby about that because I’m from Florida where it was 90 degrees year round.
Other than that I just love sports. My dad’s always been very bitter that he never had a son, so I think he raised me like a boy. I love cars, I love sports, football is my first love, baseball keeps me entertained until football rolls around again, I’m loving the NBA Finals right now, and like most of the country, I’ve become a Dallas fan.
I don’t want to see the Heat win. I’m a huge fan of the underdog. I’m Tampa sports all around. I love the Bucs, I love the Rays — those are my go-to teams. If I have to have a basketball team, the Magic are my choice because they’re a quick hour-drive away. I’ve never lost those Tampa Bay sports roots.
BI: How have you been able to come back from scandal and succeed?
JS: I think the thing that I had the most difficulty with in the fall was that I am a really goofy, ridiculous, inappropriate person. Having to be quiet and having to not have a voice killed me.
I enjoy interacting with people on the web and enjoy interacting with “fans” or friends or followers, or whatever you call them. Not being able to do that for six months was brutal. It killed me. That’s why I’m so grateful now that my piece is out there. People can google it, listen to it and it lives on on the internet. Hopefully it stays on the internet so I don’t have to address it every time I open my mouth to give an interview.
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