The Reheat: Jerry Seinfeld Dated a Teenager and Got Away With It

Hello, and welcome to The Reheat! Each week, I write a column summarizing the highlights of the podcast I co-host with Sadaf Ahsan. Our podcast, also titled The Reheat (what a coincidence!), re-examines the most salacious scandals of yester-year through a contemporary lens. Whether it’s a deep dive into Bennifer’s original love story from the 2000s or a meditation on the time princess Anne was almost kidnapped, we explain why each saga captured our imaginations back in the day. Sadaf and I also ask, would these stories be as scandalous if they happened in 2021? The answers to that question might
surprise you!

Whenever we release a new episode, I’ll share some of the juiciest tidbits right here, for ADDICTED Magazine’s lovely readers. Obviously, we hope these columns tantalize you enough to listen to our podcast. That’s where you’ll learn the fascinating details I don’t share here…

This week’s installment of The Reheat details that time in the 90s when Jerry Seinfeld dated a teenage girl and got away with it. Yep, that happened. No, Jerry has never apologized…

Jerry Seinfeld Met Shoshanna Lonstein When She Was 17

In 1993, when he was already the world-famous King of American Comedy, Jerry Seinfeld took his metaphorical crown for a walk in Central Park. And that’s where the super-rich, super-powerful comedy magnate met high school student Shoshanna Lonstein. Shoshanna was 17 when she first made
Seinfeld’s acquaintance, and therefore an actual child. While he admits to approaching young Shoshanna in a public greenspace, Jerry maintains he didn’t start dating her until after she turned 18. However, the famed comedian admitted to Howard Stern that he and Lonstein did go out to dinner before she reached legal voting age. So, even if nothing sexual happened, there could have been some grooming going on…

Jerry and His Much Younger Girlfriend Were “Red Carpet Official”

Jerry and Shoshanna frequently graced Red Carpets as a couple. Shoshanna, who never stopped being two decades younger than Seinfeld, was his official date to events like the Emmys and the SAG Awards. In short, Jerry felt no shame about having picked up a high school student at a local park. How sweet!

Mainstream Media Celebrated The Union

The mainstream media generally approved of Seinfeld’s decision to court an adolescent. In fact, People Magazine, the most vanilla of all celebrity glossies, did a cover story on their “love.” The article, which was published in March of ‘94, included a quote from Seinfeld’s friend, the comedian George Wallace
endorsing the relationship.Wallace declared of Lonstein, “She’s beautiful and mature. She’s good for him.” The piece concludes with Seinfeld himself stating of his girlfriend, “My interest in her is very proper.” Yep, the 1990s were bleak!

Back in the 90s, before Me Too and Wifi, there was little dissent when a guy like Jerry Seinfeld dated someone two decades his junior. Websites like Refinery29 and Bustle, which likely would have called him out today, didn’t even exist yet! In fact, the World Wide Web was a nascent entity. There was no social media, and society still relied on the traditional print media for our celebrity gossip. Yeah, we were basically living in the 1400s! If you disapproved of Seinfeld’s relationship, you would have had to self-author a pamphlet and share it in The Town Square, a la Martin Luther. I mean, that was basically your only option before Twitter!

Jerry Hasn’t Had a Me Too Reckoning

Are some celebs too big to fail? Stars like Aziz Ansari, Louis CK, and Chris D’Elia have been taken to task by the internet for varying degrees of sexual misconduct. And yet, the world seems to have forgotten that Jerry, who is now a married father of three children, once dated a child. Seinfeld has never apologized for becoming involved with Shoshanna when she was still in high school. The moral of Seinfeld’s story is this: if you star on a sitcom with enough fans, the world will ignore your questionable choices…

So, what happened to Shoshanna? Ms. Lonstein is now a mother of three and a fashion designer. Her self-titled line specializes in making couture garments for busty women. And while Shoshanna’s outfits are expensive, they’re freaking adorable and I would totally wear them!

Shoshanna no longer comments on her past with Jerry Seinfeld, so it’s impossible to know what lasting trauma it might – or might not – have caused. However, I’ll go out on a limb and make this declaration: Regardless of whether the relationship scarred Lonstein for life, comedy superstars shouldn’t date teens!

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as Elle Canada, Flare, Bitch Media, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-host of You Do You: A Dating Podcast. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about politics and live-tweets The Bachelor