What is Jenny Jones doing now? She has dedicated her life to philanthropy

The first episode of Netflix’s docuseries Trial by Media picks up after the events of an unaired episode of The Jenny Jones Show. Jenny Jones hosted the daytime tabloid talk show, featuring makeovers, rowdy teenagers, parenthood tests, and secret crushes. The revelation of one secret crush and the ensuing murder sparked the decline of The Jenny Jones Show. 

During the ill-fated 1995 episode, Scott Amedure revealed that he had a crush on his friend Jonathan Schmitz. Three days after filming, Jonathan murdered Scott and turned himself in. His motivation for the murder was that Scott embarrassed him on national television. 

Jenny Jones left The Jenny Jones Show after its cancelation in 2003. 

Jenny Jones has no desire to return to television. The former drummer and talk-show host has dedicated her life to philanthropy and cooking.

Jones started her philanthropy in the 90s by launching The Image Foundation to educate women about breast implants. She also made private donations to Chicago area schools in the twelve years that The Jenny Jones Show was filmed in the Windy City.

All the proceeds from her 1997 autobiography and her 2006 cookbook go to cancer research. Jones really sunk her teeth into charity work after retiring from television. 

In 2008, she launched a program called Jenny’s Heroes which awarded grants to people pledging to use the money to improve their communities. “There’s no better feeling than giving back to everyday people and seeing how much good they were able to do because of my good fortune,” Jones said

Jones closed the program in 2011 after donating to 100 causes. In 2016, she gave $200,000 to build a playground in her home city, London, Ontario. In honor of her late sister, Jenny donated $50,000 to a women’s shelter in Ontario named My Sister’s Place.

In 2018, Jenny launched Jenny’s Heroes CANADA to provide $25,000 grants to Ontario’s firefighters. In 2019, she launched Jenny’s Heroes CALIFORNIA to give grants to volunteer fire departments throughout California. By summer 2020, Jenny had donated $25,000 to volunteer firefighters

Jenny’s love for cooking stems from her father, who was a chef. She didn’t get to exercise her cooking skills during her stints as a drummer and talk show host, but retirement gave her tons of time to create her famous recipes. 

The recipes from her 2006 cookbook are available for free download from her cooking website. Jones also started a YouTube cooking channel, which has attracted over 1 million subscribers. Jenny views sharing her cooking as another form of philanthropy rather than a business opportunity:

“I am not here to make money. I simply love to cook and my only goal is to share what I love and to motivate more people to cook at home. It’s one more way I can give back.”

After Jonathan Schmitz’s conviction for second-degree murder, the Amedure family sued The Jenny Jones Show for the wrongful death of Amedure. Jones was not a defendant in the matter, but she testified during the trial. 

The jury awarded the Amedure family $25 million in a ruling that ‘shocked and saddened’ Jones. “However, the only real tragedy here is that Scott Amedure lost his life,” Jones said. “I refuse to lose my faith in the law and in the people I work with, even in the face of this outrageous judgment.”

The family stated that the show didn’t consider Schmidt’s history of mental illness. Jonathan, who was reportedly convinced that the show would reunite him with his ex-girlfriend, laughed after Scott made his revelation. “You lied to me,” he said

Amedure and Scott went out for drinks after the show aired. In a 1999 appearance on Dateline: NBC, Jones denied that the show ‘ambushed’ Schmitz. She stated that Schmitz could have refused to appear on the show at any time he wished. Jones said:

“The headlines were that they ambushed him. If I heard that word ‘ambushed’ one more time, I wanted to scream because I knew that it wasn’t. I remember one letter that I got in the mail that said ‘you’ve got blood on your hands.’ He could have chosen not to appear. He could have told us at the last minute he didn’t want to do it.”

The Michigan Court of Appeals overturned the decision to compensate the Amedure family. It referred to the murder as unforeseeable and that the show ‘had no duty to anticipate and prevent the act of murder committed by Schmitz three days after leaving the studio.’ 

The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Amedure family. Scott Schmitz was released from prison on parole in August 2017.

Despite Jenny’s statement that nothing on the show changed after the murder, fans noticed that the producers sanitized the content somewhat. Due to declining viewership numbers, Warner Bros. canceled the show in 2003.