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Archive: Jenny Shimizu & Rebecca Loos: what's the story?

What’s this? Model-turned-TV-personality Rebecca Loos and Japanese–American model and TV presenter Jenny Shimizu get married on prime time telly, and DIVA gets the scoop on their newfound friendship.


Fri, 08 Apr 2011 10:31:26 GMT | Updated 5 years today

Thirty-eight-year-old Jenny first hit our gaydar back in 1994 when she appeared in the moody, androgynous black-and-white Calvin Klein fragrance ad, dressed in her trademark vest and denims and styled by the fashion scion himself.

Shortly afterwards, we heard she'd become 'friendly' with Madonna and a host of other Hollywood stars, whose names she refuses to reveal - but she does talk about Angelina Jolie.

'I don't want to sound like I hustle ass,' she confides, 'but for a while back then, if Angelina called, I'd drop everything and join her wherever she was in the world. Angelina and I had a really wonderful relationship that lasted many years. I was dating her while she was seeing other people - she was that type of person; wonderful and open.'

With a string of modelling jobs behind her - Versace, Gaultier, Anna Sui - the butch lesbian star now divides her time between filming for US gay TV channel HERE and working as an auto mechanic on family and friends' cars and motorbikes.

When we asked her what her mum thinks about her celebrity lifestyle, she replied: 'My mother's only concern is the fact that I wear men's shoes. If I could be gay and wear pumps, that would be perfect!'


Twenty-eight-year-old Rebecca Loos shot to fame through her alleged affair with football homunculus David 'Golden Balls' Beckham in 2004. Since then, she's graced the pages of numerous glossy magazines as well as the small screen in reality shows Celebrity Love Island and The Farm.

Some sections of the media have portrayed her as a 'gossip column wannabe' who 'uses her sexuality to get publicity', to which she retorts: 'I never intended for my sexuality to be known. It was something others leaked to the papers. But I'm not ashamed, and I hold my head up high. I know who I am, and my family, friends and fans know that the opinions of those who aren't in my life are of no value to me.'

How, then, does she feel about the way people respond to her bisexuality? 'Gay men are fine with it. Straight men don't really know how to handle it - some find it a kinky thought - but I've never had, and would never have, sex with a woman to turn a guy on. I'm a very one-on-one person. Woman love it. I 'm amazed at how many girls approach me for advice and tell me how they look up to me, and how they really want to experience being with a woman. Go for it, girls; you won't know until you've tried it.'

Diva invited the two lady-loving lovelies to share a cocktail and a few secrets with us on a hot summer's day in a secluded West End hotel, and shed some light on those rumours.

How did it feel, marrying each other on the recent Sky documentary Power Lesbians?

Rebecca Loos: I was very nervous on the day. Having the dress fitted and not being able to see Jenny until the wedding made it feel very real. We had our first kiss, and the sparks between us were very powerful. I also felt very strongly in defending gay marriage. If two people are in love and want to state it publicly, why is that wrong? Bush and Blair spend so much time focusing on Iraq and other things; perhaps they should help open doors in their own countries to allow love to grow, regardless of the sexuality of the people involved.

Jenny Shimizu: I married her two days after I met her. And you know, I would've done that even if we weren't on TV. It was a rebellious act at a church in Hollywood, and we did it to protest against the anti-gay marriage laws. When we kissed, it just changed everything for me. I'd been single for a long time and when I kissed her on the lips, it was just like magic. I hate to sound cheesy but I got butterflies.

Would you consider getting married for real?

RL: Yes I'd marry for real, but only if I find the person I want to share the rest of my life with. It's a commitment to be taken very seriously. That's what makes it so special.

JS:You know, that's a hard one. Either we get the same laws as heterosexual couples, or I don't want it at all. But I'd like to settle down and get married. I feel like, as gay people, we date each other and being girlfriends has always been enough for me, but I'm not sure. It might be one of those hetero luxuries, and we jump right in on it. With my girlfriends I've always felt committed without needing marriage.

What are your views on Civil Partnership rights and traditional marriage?

RL: I think they're both great. When two people love each other, let them express it in the way they choose. Choice is vital. Dictatorship is history.

JS: Before they revoked the right to marry in the US, we were told we'd just get all the negative benefits of marriage: ie, you get to take over half the debt. So at first, I was against it. Either they give us everything or I don't want any of it.

Can you tell us how you first met?

RL: We first met on a very hot, sunny day in LA in March this year. I was interviewing Jenny for our SKY 1 Power Lesbians documentary. I was sitting in a cafe on Melrose, and she walked around the corner towards me. We had coffee and talked.

JS: Rebecca's producers told her it would be a good idea to interview me. I'd never met her, and I don't watch that much TV, so I had no idea who she was. The producers wouldn't let me meet her until we started filming, so when I finally did, I thought she was even more beautiful than I'd imagined. I have a real deep affection for women with dark hair and Latin in their blood, and she has both. She was gorgeous; she glowed and her personality was open and friendly.

What was it that attracted you most to each other?

RL: Jenny has a very sexy and attractive energy about her. Initially, what I loved was that she's a mechanic who can build motorbikes from scratch, rides Harleys and is covered in sexy tattoos. She's a very good driver, which is something I fall for. I can't bear people who don't know how to control a car or bike, and just try to be cool by speeding or driving flashy cars. She's very sexy, she has a heart of gold, and she's kind and generous.

JS: I think it's that she's an animal lover and that she faces all the challenges with an open heart. She's a "yes" person rather than a "no" person and everything's an adventure to her - plus, she's trustworthy, and those are a lot of qualities to find in one person. Overall, she's really amazing, grounded and mature.

How would you describe your friendship?

RL: We have a very passionate, close friendship.

JS: My friendship with Rebecca, physically, is 'occasional', since I live in LA and she's in the UK. Emotionally, I feel like I'm always with her.

When did you first become aware of your sexuality?

RL: I was a very curious young girl, and my interests always lay in both girls and boys.

JS: From the minute I could distinguish the sexes, I was attracted to women. I was in love with my lady teachers and babysitters, and any other women that gave me attention, excluding my mother. I definitely had the pre-destined homo gene in me. There was no doubt in my mind about who I was. I think this made it easier to accept my sexuality as the norm for me.

What kind of women are you attracted to?

RL: I've had both femme and butch lovers, but it's more about the chemistry I feel with a person than the looks. I do tend to go for butch mostly.

JS: I think I'm attracted to powerful, aggressive, confident, sexual women. A lot of the women I've dated share those qualities. I met Madonna when I was in her Rain video around 1994-'95, right about the time I started modelling for Calvin Klein, and we ended up hanging out in LA, Paris and New York. I ended up feeling like I was this lesbian hustler getting on planes meeting women. One of my tattoos says 'hauling ass 1'; it's not a reference to hauling my own ass around, but in reference to my motorcycling - driving super-fast. Madonna showed me a lot of things - took me to the theatre and museums, and it was nice to hang out with her. She's a lovely lady; a totally smart, confident woman.

Do you feel a difference being seduced by a guy or by women?

RL: Not really. It's the same thing, just different sex.

Do you find it easy to move from male to female lovers/ partners?

RL: Yes. It's the same as for anyone else moving from one partner to another.

And finally, can we expect to see you doing something anytime soon?

JS: Come round to my garage - I rebuild Harleys and most motorcycles. I have a 54 Triumph in my garage right now that I'm trying to take apart, and an 89 Harley chopper that I drive all the time, and that's the thing that keeps me 'zen' and complete. I feel whole when I do it. Now I'm working on a six-episode TV series, based on celebrities and motorcycles in Los Angeles, which will be broadcast on HERE TV in November. It's about the subculture of LA, but really it's all my friends and celebrities who are involved with hot rods and motorcycle riding. It's called Tutu's Motorworld. I'm Tutu.

RL: Modelling, TV, writing and acting. I'm working on a few very exciting projects. Can't reveal the nature of them yet but, trust me, they'll be worth the wait.



This article first appeared in DIVA magazine, November 2005.

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