According to Jenny Slate, she recently went through the “hardest years” of her life, a time which included her divorce from filmmaker Dean Fleischer-Camp and a breakup with Sudbury native Chris Evans. However, she’s also now “deeply in love” with her new boyfriend, artist-writer Ben Shattuck, and has been taking a break from Los Angeles life this spring by living in Massachusetts.
The actress and Milton native joined Refinery 29 co-founder Christene Barberich on her Unstyled podcast to discuss a variety of topics, including her new beau, her realization that she had never been in a healthy relationship, and why she “doesn’t give a f***” what “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels thinks of her.
While Slate did not mention Shattuck’s name on the podcast, she has not been shy about sharing his identity with her Instagram followers. In recent weeks, Slate posted photos of Shattuck examining snake skins, nametags from a wedding with the couple’s names on them, and the pair posing on Cuttyhunk Island, a tiny island 12 miles south of New Bedford where Shattuck runs a writers’ workshop and where Slate recently agreed to give a commencement speech to Cuttyhunk Elementary School’s only graduate.
Slate told Barberich that she had recently come to the realization that she had never been in a healthy relationship until now, and that she had to “figure out what I thought about myself when a man was not defining that for me.”
“I have this faith now — I do — that I can have this beautiful relationship with this man that I deeply love,” Slate told Barberich. “That I can have a full life, that I can live on this peninsula in Massachusetts where I live right now, and have my career, and that I can feel beauty in myself in so many ways.”
One man from Slate’s past who she won’t let define her is “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, who fired Slate from the long-running variety show in 2010 after only one season. Slate caused a mini-firestorm for accidentally using an obscenity during her first episode on the show in 2009, but said that wasn’t the reason she was let go.
“I don’t know that I was fired for saying f***, I think I was fired because I didn’t fit in there, and Lorne didn’t like me,” Slate said. “I have no idea what’s inside of that man’s head. I mean, I don’t know if he liked me or disliked me as a person, but I don’t actually give a f*** what he thinks about me, I’ve gotta tell you. And maybe I never did, and that’s why I got fired.”