Fran Drescher's Gay Spouse Was Mad She Ruined Their Marriage until She Made Him Cry by Revealing Her Cancer
Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson were married happily for years before they divorced. He blamed her for their sour separation and relocated to a different city. However, they would be reunited a year later.
Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson met when they were students a Hillcrest High School in Queens, New York, and when he saw her vast "Farah Fawcette hairdo" and high heels, he thought she looked beautiful.
He introduced himself, but he was surprised by her voice when she answered. She spoke in an iconic nasal voice, and at first, Jacobson thought it was a joke but would soon discover that her mother and sister also have the same voice.
Actress Fran Drescher with her husband, American actor and producer Peter Marc Jacobson in 1978 | Source: Getty Images
Drescher and Jacobson started dating and working together at 15. Their dates would involve watching sitcoms in the basement, but then as Jacobson would say, Drescher's voice was a "cash cow," and the two made a career out of it.
They went from watching sitcoms to writing hit shows together. When Drescher was only 21, she and Jacobson married on November 4, 1978, and together, the couple founded the production company High School Sweethearts.
Actress Fran Drescher and husband Peter Marc Jacobson | Source: Getty Images
Drescher and Jacobson's marriage was a good one. They were compatible in art, food, ethics, and humor. However, Drescher says that while marrying a high school sweetheart sounds romantic; it was probably not a good idea. She recalled:
"We were too young, too inexperienced with life, and underdeveloped as individuals."
Fran Drescher, pictured with ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobsen at their Studio City home on June 15, 1990 in Studio City, California | Source: Getty Images
They both feared abandonment, and despite their genuine love for each other, Drescher did not know how to be independent of her husband. She had no opinions or identity outside of her relationship.
Drescher also had an unflattering trait. She did not know how to apologize or take fault for her mistakes. But despite all that, Drescher and Jacobson's sexual life was perfect.
Twiggy and husband Leigh Lawson, Fran Drescher and husband Peter Marc Jacobson on October 28 1991| Source: Getty Images
At the time, the two also did not realize that Jacobson was gay. The "Dangerous Love" actor would only discover this about himself years later and disclose:
"We were living a heterosexual life. I wasn't having affairs on the side or anything like that. I thought that I was straight."
AN INCIDENT THAT LEFT THEM TRAUMATIZED
Unfortunately, their marriage began falling apart after a traumatizing event happened at their home one evening. Drescher had invited a girlfriend, Judi, over for dinner when two gunmen broke into their home.
Fran Drescher and husband Peter Marc Jacobson at the Los Angeles Premiere of "The Prince of Tides" | Source: Getty Images
They tied Jacobson up and raped the two women. For years, Drescher and Jacobson lived in fear, looking over their shoulders whenever they went out. They barred their windows and doors, purchased an elaborate security system, and became prisoners in their own home. Drescher would say:
"I envied Judi, who got to leave the scene of the crime and live among normal people who weren't scared by what happened that night."
REALIZING HE WAS GAY
Years after the incident, Jacobson started going to therapy and discussing his confusing feelings. Three of the psychologists he saw assured him that, despite being attracted to men, he was straight and that many men had the same thoughts but never acted on them.
Fran Drescher during "A Home of Our Own" Benefit at Sony Studios in Culver City, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
He pushed aside his true feelings after the traumatizing incident but also became controlling and would get jealous and threatened when Drescher spent time with other people. She would say:
"He was even jealous of our dog when I wanted the dog to be with us. So it became very suffocating."
Jacobson admits that he was a mess, and despite how willing he was to spend more time with Drescher, he was not dealing with his feelings well. As time went by, he got more in touch with reality and even admitted to Drescher that he was bisexual.
Fran Drescher and husband Peter Marc Jacobson at the 46th Annual Writers Guild of America Awards | Source: Getty Images
He told her he loved her and had chosen to spend life with her despite the developments. Drescher was on board. She also wanted to make their marriage work. However, she would later change her mind and decide she wanted out. She recalled:
"He begged me not to leave him, and for me, it was the hardest thing because I've always been all about putting everybody else's feelings above my own. I felt like a bird in a gilded cage."
Jacobson was against the notion of divorce, but Drescher had her mind made up. When Jacobson realized she would not change her mind, he got mad at her and moved to New York to be as far away from her as possible.
THEIR DIVORCE AND THE AFTERMATH
Fran Drescher pictured on an episode of "The Nanny" on January 1 1993 | Source: Getty Images
Do not be mistaken. Despite the controlling person that Jacobson had become, leaving him was not easy for Drescher. She recalls the first time she slept alone and says her body shook and twitched from fear.
But she had to do what she had to do for her sanity. She knew if she did not tear herself away, she would never be happy with Jacobson or anyone else. They divorced after 21 years of marriage.
THE DIAGNOSIS THAT REUNITED THE TWO
Their marriage had ended on a sour note, and after his impromptu move to New York, they did not speak for a year. However, some devastating news would bring them together a year later.
Peter Marc Jacobson and actress Fran Drescher attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and the first person she thought about was Jacobson and the life they had weathered together since they met in their teenage days.
She remembered that Jacobson's parents had died from lung cancer, and she prayed she would not go out the same way. And when Drescher's manager called Jacobson to share the devastating news of the diagnosis, Drescher said:
"He burst into tears, and at that moment, all of the anger melted away, and all that was left was the love."
Peter Marc Jacobson and Fran Drescher attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party on March 27, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
Fortunately, she beat the disease and wrote a book, "Cancer Schmancer," detailing her journey. She told Jacobson she'd like to see him when she went on tour to New York to promote her book. And that's when, for the first time, Drescher heard Jacobson admit to being gay, and not just bisexual, when he said:
"I don't want you to be thrown if when you're doing all this press that somebody says, 'Do you know that your husband is living as a gay man now?'"
Fran Drescher at The Beverly Hilton on March 12, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
It appeared he had decided to explore his sexuality and finally accepted that he was gay. However, he shared that his love for Drescher was real, and they were in a good place.
They are now very close and are in each other's lives profoundly. They also started working together and produced the show "Happily Divorced," a story about a divorced woman and her gay ex-husband. They also now go on vacations together.