Jerry Seinfeld is one of the world’s most famous stand-up comedians and much of his wildly successful show revolved around his dating life. However, it was a real-life relationship of Seinfeld’s that was the subject of much controversy: his relationship with Shoshanna Lonstein—a minor at the time.
Seinfeld And Lonstein’s Relationship
Seinfeld met then-high school senior Lonstein while the two were walking in Central Park. She was 17, he was 38. She and Seinfeld started dating shortly after she graduated. The comedian later claimed that he did not know she was underage when they met. “I didn’t realize she was so young,” he said at the time. “This is the only girl I ever went out with who was that young. I wasn’t dating her. We just went to a restaurant, and that was it.”
Lonstein graduated high school and studied for one year at George Washington University, then transferred to UCLA in order to be closer to Seinfeld. The couple dated for four years, but eventually split up in 1997 after Lonstein graduated college.
Some of the reasons they broke up, according to Lonstein, were the constant press scrutiny and her homesickness for New York (Seinfeld was living full-time in Los Angeles while filming his hit sitcom).
Unsurprisingly, this relationship was extremely controversial and Seinfeld caught a lot of heat for dating someone so much younger than him. During an interview with Howard Stern, the radio host joked, “So, you sit in Central Park and have a candy bar on a string and pull it when the girls come?”
Her Life After Dating The Comedian
Lonstein, who graduated with a degree in history and art history, later launched a career in fashion. In 1998, she started a clothing company whose mission was to create clothing for all different body types.
“My whole life, starting as a young teen, I was a hard fit for clothes,” Lonstein explained. “I was incredibly voluptuous and it was frustrating as a young woman to not find things that fit well and made me feel celebratory of my body. I’m fortunate that I had a mom who helped me find those things or altered them, especially my swimsuits. I was a size 2, but then I had a very busty top, and it could be very damaging for young girls to not feel like they can find things that work for them.”
In 2003, Lonstein married Round Hill Music CEO Joshua Gruss. The couple share three children: Sienna, who now models for her mother’s line, and twins Angelica and Joseph. She and Gruss split up in 2014, and she currently lives on the Upper West Side with her kids.
Seinfeld and Lonstein’s relationship was controversial then and now, and the comedian has understandably received a lot of criticism for dating a woman so much younger than him.