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Style & Culture | AS IF

A star is born, and we all pay for it

Let's say you skyrocket to undeserved celebrity. If you're like our fictional Jenna, milk the ride, then brace for your crash landing.

April 30, 2006|Gerald Nachman | Special to The Times

2002

October: Pop singer Jenna McGlusky wins first place on "American Idol."

November: Jenna appears on cover of People magazine, "Entertainment Tonight," "The Tonight Show" and "Live With Regis and Kelly."

December: Jenna is featured in O magazine, discusses her trailer park beginnings in Modesto, Calif., and dumpster-diving years in New York's East Village.

2003

January: Jenna records album, "The Best of Jenna McGlusky," wins 23 Grammys, is interviewed by Barbara Walters.

February: Jenna is photographed with Ben Affleck, Ethan Hawke, Brad Pitt and Jude Law, but denies a serious romance with any of them.

March: Jenna announces engagement to Brad Pitt.

April: Jenna leaves Pitt for Hawke, attends Lakers game with Law.

May: Jenna is caught shoplifting at Wal-Mart, receives suspended sentence but bravely opts for a month in jail. Upon release, announces conversion to Scientology.

June: Jenna brings out self-help manual, diet book and workout DVD.

July: Jenna publishes ghost-written autobiography, "My Very Own Little Book," with details of abused childhood -- frequent spankings, a mother addicted to caffeine and red meat, and an "absent father" who flew for Qantas Airways.

August: Jenna becomes partner in SoSo (South of South Street), a New York restaurant specializing in retro cuisine (Jell-O molds, liverwurst sandwiches).

September: Jenna makes film debut in "Girlz N Stuff"; goes to video during editing.

October: Jenna enters rehab for untreated high-carb addiction.

November: Jenna announces line of designer sweat socks.

December: Jenna's second album is released and zooms to No. 6,741 on the charts.

2004

January: Jenna travels to Iraq to entertain troops, is moved to Somalia unit.

February: Jenna is stricken with chronic fatigue syndrome, enters hospital for long nap.

March: After two-day stay, Jenna tells her story on "Larry King Live."

April: Jenna becomes spokeswoman for chronic fatigue syndrome, appears on telethon with other CFS victims wearing bedraggled gray ribbon.

May: Jenna guests on "Oprah" to discuss failed career, marriage, diet, ribbon, future comeback.

June: Jenna accepts recurring role as nurse on "Guiding Light."

July: Jenna makes infomercial for the JennaCycle workout system.

August: Jenna goes on tour in West Virginia as Rizzo in "Grease."

September: After conversion from Scientology to the Kabbalah, Jenna is born again at Lourdes and begins new career singing at Billy Graham crusades.

October: Jenna announces she will host 3 a.m. public access show, "Jenna!"

November: Jenna becomes roving goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, is met with protest signs in Somalia.

December: Jenna moves from William Morris Agency to Feinshreiber Associates, which announces she will star on reality TV show focusing on her wild, uninhibited daily life -- shopping, getting hair cut, taking cat to vet, screaming at agent.

2005

January: Jenna emerges from closet as transsexual and is cast as surfer dude on new sitcom "Hey, Guess Who?"

February: Jenna announces retirement and moves to Wyoming with the new man and woman in her life and their seven adopted kids from various continents.

March: Jenna appears in AARP magazine with other premature retirees.

May: Jenna debuts on QVC selling designer nose and tongue rings.

June: Jenna comes out of retirement for farewell tour.

July: The Star headlines Jenna has incurable illness, acute hammertoe.

August: Jenna receives Seventeen's lifetime achievement award, People's Choice certificate of merit, Kennedy Center backstage pass.

September: Jenna announces misdiagnosis for terminal hammertoe.

October: Jenna cuts first country album, opens barbecue pit in Branson, Mo.

2006

January: Jenna disappears; search party abandons hunt after 45 minutes.

March: Rolling Stone asks, "Whatever Happened to Jenna McGlusky?"

April: Jenna discovered cleaning bathrooms in a Chula Vista nursing home, decides to resume career over outcries from agent and public.

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