“Always a Lady”
It’s funny how life is sometimes. One minute you’re sitting on top of the world…. And the next, well, that’s what this chapter is all about.
By the spring of 1992 I literally had it all. I was hosting a major Las Vegas show entitled “Crazy Girls” (which is still running after some twenty odd years) in addition to twice being voted the sexiest showgirl in Vegas.
People knew who Jahna Steele was. They wanted to be around me, to be seen with me. Television programs wanted to interview me. Magazines wanted stories about me. I was “somebody.” But even more than that, I was a “Star.”
In April of that same year the television show A Current Affair, had come to Las Vegas, supposedly to do a piece about the show. As it turned out the focus quickly became about me- and why wouldn’t it? I mean- I was the headliner. I was the one who made the show what it was. At least that’s what my ego was telling me. It seemed only natural that people should be more interested in who I was.
But egos have a way of blinding a person to the events which are going on around one’s self. I should have listened to the warning bells which were going off inside my head as the reporter from A Current Affair began asking more than I thought necessary about my personal life. She kept insisting to know about the “real Jahna Steele”. Who she actually was and what could she tell about her past.
But I didn’t pay attention to the bells. I did however; pay very close attention to the flattery, complements- not to mention the cameras that were constantly being directed at me. All I could remember was that I had finally made it. Everything I had worked so hard to achieve was now coming true. I felt I deserved all which was laid before me. I wanted it. I wanted it all.
As A Current Affair was putting together their piece on “Crazy Girls” they wanted to have some on screen footage with the show’s producer, Norbert Aleman. So an interview was conducted at Norbert’s home. I of course attended (looking fabulous as always) and as the interview concluded the reporter asked me if I would be interested in riding with them in their van back to the hotel as they wanted to ask me a few additional questions.
I quickly agreed and after we all had piled into the van and were on our way the reporter informed me that she had been approached by one of the cast members with some startling news about me and wanted to know if I would be willing to make a statement.
I knew what she was hinting at. It was at that moment I literally felt my world beginning to fall apart. My body had actually begun to go numb. She proceeded to say that she had been told that I was Transsexual. That their people back in N.Y. had made inquiries and had found the statement to be, in fact, true and was I willing to make some kind of statement.
Though I was hearing words spoken to me, statements such as “we can confirm these allegations, we don’t need your approval to run this story” things of this nature I was in fact in a state of shock.
Finally I asked if there was any way or anything I could do to prevent this from coming out. The reporter replied that this story would be a guaranteed ratings grabber and that there was no way they could sit on something this big. I remember saying I would need some time to think about it. I told her I would call the next day, knowing that A Current Affair would run the story regardless of what I decided.
Though exhausted, I knew there was no way I would be getting any sleep this night. I drove home wondering how all this could have happened? What had I done to deserve this? Why would someone want to hurt me this way? I wanted to cry but the tears would not come. I was in a state of fear and as I entered my front door I could feel my panic level rising from deep within me. My knees began to give way and I sat motionless in an almost catatonic state for what seemed to be hours.
Finally, I was able to gather my thoughts and realized I had a decision to make. Was I just going to lay there on the floor for the rest of my life? Or, was I going to speak out about my past to the world. Either way my life was once again going to be turned upside down, though I did not yet fully realize the chaos which was about to be unleashed.
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