What comes to mind when you hear the name Urkel?
If you watched television in the 80s and 90s, you likely think of Steve Urkel from the show Family Matters. Urkel became a fast fan-favorite and quickly received ever-increasing amounts of time on-screen. His once-recurring character eventually became the headliner of the show.
When you think of Family Matters, though, does Judy Winslow come to mind?
Jaimee Foxworth on Family Matters – What Happened?
Jaimee Foxworth played Judy Winslow on the show during the first four seasons of Family Matters. Once Steve Urkel quickly rose to prominence as the show’s most popular character, producers inexplicably wrote Judy out. Family Matters never explained what happened to Judy and seemed to erase her existence entirely, with no mention of her afterward.
Jaimee Foxworth was born in Illinois on December 17th, 1979. She had two brief spots in other shows in 1986 and 1989. She then rose to prominence as the youngest member of the Winslow family starting in 1989. Her role survived until its cut in 1993. Citing budget cuts, producers removed Judy entirely and left Jaimee without a job. So what happened to Jaimee Foxworth once her character was written out?
Jaimee’s Life and Struggles After Childhood Stardom
Following her removal from Family Matters, Jaimee tried to slip back into a normal childhood at the age of 13 by attending Burbank High School. She received no further acting credits during her high school career. Once graduation came around, her parents had difficulties paying the bills and used Jaimee’s trust fund to help.
The stress of being an ex-childhood star coupled with both her and her family’s money problems led Jaimee to use alcohol to cope. At 19 she was hired for a swimsuit photoshoot where she learned there was much more money in the adult film industry than any of the photoshoots she was doing.
Aided by the pressure of her boyfriend and lowered inhibitions caused by alcohol, Jaimee agreed to shoot a scene. Now with the added shame of her appearance in the adult film industry, she found comfort in mixing painkillers with alcohol.
Although she had no intention of repeating her time in front of the adult film camera, the money available led her to sign up for additional films. She is credited in at least 5 different videos under a pseudonym in hopes no one would realize it was her.
Alcohol, painkillers, and marijuana numbed Jaimee to the reality she found herself in. She hoped no one would discover about her small but significant screentime in adult films. As her film increased in popularity, though, she knew she needed to tell her mother about it before she found out from somewhere or someone else.
Eventually, her videos surfaced and were spread far and wide. Tabloids nationwide published pieces about Jaimee’s presence in pornography. Despite her departure from the industry, Jaimee continued to rely on drugs and alcohol to help her through the increased social pressure.
Interviews About Jaimee Foxworth’s Drug Use and More
Oprah had Jaimee on her show in 2006 to discuss the impact her appearance in adult films had on her life. She addressed the shame surrounding the widespread publication of the videos. She wants to share her story so other girls don’t feel the same pressure to place themselves in the same position.
However, Jaimee Foxworth had yet to truly confront her drug use in the public eye. Soon she appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2008 in an episode focused mainly on her heavy marijuana use. She claims she smoked at least every hour, often multiple times per hour.
Later in 2008, People magazine reported Jaimee was pregnant with her first child with her long-term boyfriend. During her interview for the article, she attributed her sobriety to her newfound interest and enjoyment of the world around her.
In 2014, Jaimee returned to Oprah for her Where Are They Now? segment. She credits her dedication to sobriety to her pregnancy and the eventual birth of her first child. In her interview with Oprah, she said, “I made a prayer to God. I was like, ‘If you just give me the healthiest son, I will stop today.’ And I stopped. And I haven’t had a craving since.”
Jaimee’s willingness to share her story inspires many young women likely to follow in her footsteps of addiction and potential turn to prostitution. While open about her experiences in interviews, she intends to take the awareness a step further.
Stronger Than You Think – Jaimee Foxworth Gives Back
She appeared on Dr. Oz in 2016 to reflect upon the reaction to her pornographic involvement. When asked how she handles the reactions of others, Jaimee said, “Either I can walk tall and keep my head up or I can continue to worry about what other people think of me. I choose the latter.”
In collaboration with Elayne Rivers, Jaimee Foxworth helped produce a public service announcement called Stronger Than You Think. During her Dr. Oz interview, Jaimee shared her experiences with being bullied in the 6th grade. Stronger Than You Think is an anti-bullying campaign focused on supporting the victims of bullies.
Through the video, Jaimee and Elayne hope to show children and adolescents that they don’t need to turn to substance abuse or suicide. If they are willing, to be honest about their experiences, there are people willing to help.
Jaimee Today: Clear Conscience and Free of Addiction
Today, Jaimee Foxworth is a sober, happy, and healthy woman. She makes regular appearances in interviews to continue sharing her experience so that others may learn from it. If she can keep even one person from having to live through what she had to live through, she feels it is all worth it.
Jaimee operates as a full-time mom to her now-8-year-old son, Michael Douglas Shaw, Jr. The father of Jaimee’s child provides child support so Jaimee is able to remain a constant presence in young Michael’s life. With the help from Michael Shaw Sr., Jaimee is able to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom, “putting all her love and strength and dedication into raising [her] son the way a young man should be raised.”
Jaimee Foxworth’s strength throughout her publicly-displayed trials provides an incredible example for young women in the same position. By sharing her story, she helps other women avoid the same traps she fell into. Jaimee Foxworth’s son and sobriety are the two most important things in her life today, keeping her on track in her recovery.
“Jaimee Foxworth” IMDB
“Biggest Mistakes” Oprah
“17 Mainstream Actors Who’ve Done Adult Films” Complex
“Jaimee Using” Celebrity Rehab – VH1
“Jaimee Foxworth Expecting Her First Child”
“Jaimee Foxworth of ‘Family Matters’ Fame Talks Sobriety, Son And Second Chances” Huffington Post
“How Jaimee Foxworth Overcame her Past” Dr. Oz