As she did last season, house manager Jennifer Gimenez is set to give us her weekly take on each episode of Sober House with Dr. Drew starting with the premiere episode. Below, Jenn talks about the new batch of recovering addicts she’s signed up to watch over, her past association with both Tom and Heidi, Dennis Rodman’s resistance and, of course, Kari Ann’s lashing out.
What were your thoughts on going into the season?
When I found out who was coming in, I knew they would be really rough. I knew they were going to be smart. I felt like I wanted to do things differently [than last season]. I felt like I grew a lot from the first season and from running the house the first time. I was very scared the first time. And I think the second time I was stronger. Last season I was kind of passive aggressive, and that’s not how people have been with my sobriety.
Was this shot in a different house?
Yes, it this is in a different house.
Did you prefer this one or the other?
This was easier because my room was on the same floor as them, so I was able to hear more of what was going on and was able to, you know, be more present with them. It was such a beautiful house. I mean, we got to see the whole city, and there’s something beautiful about that to just wake up and see the city and the ocean and mountains. At night, it was kind of mind-blowing.
You have a history with Tom Sizemore.
Yes, I do. I was actually in treatment with Tom about five years ago. He was not nice to me in treatment. We definitely bumped heads a lot, but we were both really sick at the time.
Tom checks in, and you find a crack pipe among his stuff. That’s a hell of a way to start the show.
I knew that Tom was really trying in rehab, and I heard that he had stayed sober. But when searching his stuff, the first thing I see is a mirror, and then I see a crack pipe, and there’s some dust on the mirror. And I’m like, “Oh no, here we go. It’s going to go bad quick.” But I had gloves on, so I was very happy about that. It was like, nothing can harm me here.
Had you known anyone else on this show previously?
Besides Seth? I had worked with Heidi Fleiss 12 or 14 years ago. I had done a thing for Inside Edition, and King’s World had paid me to do her lingerie ad. I had met her for maybe a few of hours that day. We talked about that a little, but I didn’t know her know her.
Were you concerned about sharing space with both her and Tom together?
I really wasn’t for it, but it wasn’t my decision to do that. I don’t think you’d have that in treatment normally. Like, if my brother or my boyfriend and I went into treatment together, we won’t be able to go into the same facility or the same area. I knew a lot about Heidi and Tom’s history. I knew from the things I’ve read and what Tom had told me from before. I knew I’d have to stay focused and not take sides. I was there to help them transition into the real world.
Would you say that Dennis posed a challenge as far as earning his respect?
Dennis was definitely out to test me, and had tested me the most to earn his respect. Heidi was another one, as well. Heidi wouldn’t show it very quickly, she definitely watches and observes every movement, but Dennis was coming in with a game plan. I had heard about Kari Ann, but I had not heard all about Kari Ann. I knew that she was explosive on Sex Rehab, and I knew that she had a drug problem and she came clean with it, so I was like, oh, maybe she’s willing now. I had no idea what to expect from her as she walked in. I mean, literally she walked in the sweetest thing possible on earth. She blew everyone away with the “Hi”s, “How are you”s, and the hugs. She was just this cute, little mousy girl. By the time we got up the stairs…there was a blink and boom. She had turned into another person.
She certainly didn’t take kindly to the drug test.
She was like, “I’m really clean,” but I saw her behavior. There were a lot of fast movements, but yet she was trying to manage it. When she didn’t test clean, she turned quickly. And I mean, come on, the stuff that she was saying was so childish. If you’re a drug addict, you know that you can’t get second-hand meth positive from somebody unless they’re shoving it down your throat and you don’t know it.
Things got worse from there. She soon requested that you fetch her juice.
I didn’t know the history about the juice , but the last thing I was going to be was her maid. When I watched Sex Rehab and Celebrity Rehab 3, I was dying, to see her ask for juice all those times before she did me. She was just so disrespectful, and she was so crazy. That woman has some serious, serious issues. From that moment I was like, she doesn’t belong here. Like, there’s no way I can help her. I understand the process of people having to kick, but I’m not equipped to watch people cope with detox. I’m not a doctor.
At this point, did you feel like you were in over your head?
I was really concerned because the other cast members knew her, and I thought they may take her side. But I knew I had to stand my ground and I then saw that Heidi and Jenny and Kendra looked at me with awe in their eyes. They were kind of like, “Oh my god, she stood up to her so quick.” I’m not a tech. I’m not a person that does this for a living. I don’t know the tools, but I definitely won’t let people put me down like that. I knew that I was fighting against this disease and I’m totally powerless against it, but when these residents walked in, there was a determination that they did want to get sober, and they did want to stay sober. I really saw that in the house. I even saw it in Dennis, because he wouldn’t leave. If you see him when he signs the paper, it’s night time.
Kari Ann called you “fat,” and I know just from talking to you that your weight is a sensitive issue. I bet she sensed that, too, and went for the jugular.
I knew that they were going to say mean things. I have lost a lot of weight, so I was OK walking into the show where I was at. Making fun of my weight was so last season. Please. Come up with something better. And if you’re going to call me a b*** or a c***, seriously, come up with something better. They’ve already called me that. There’s really nothing they could call me that would hurt me at that point. Kari Ann literally just finished saying how thin I was and how great I looked and how she was so happy for me, so I knew I was dealing with instability at that point. Many personalities. I was dealing with several.
Did you have any other early impressions of this group?
I was blown away by Jennie. Jennie walked in, and the minute she hugged me, I was like, “Oh my god, this girl really wants it. She wants recovery, so hopefully she stays this way.” I really saw and felt a foundation in her, and there were a lot of sweet moments with her even from the get-go. Jennie was there to win. Kendra was very fragile. She is sweet, and very fragile. I knew Tom was going to be a handful. I just knew I was going to have to watch him. He’s a great actor, and that’s one of the things I kept saying about Tom when we were in treatment was, “All you keep doing is acting.” I knew I wasn’t going to get the real Tom yet. There defiantly wasn’t a moment that I didn’t have to be on my toes. I mean, for the 20 hours that I was awake every day, I was on my toes. I knew that it was going to be a challenge, and that it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride. I think you’ll see that as you see the show. In the morning, things are good. Mid-day, all right. Night, horrible. There’s not a boring moment on the show, but I’m really grateful that I had this experience.