Jenny McCarthy may have had fun smooching with beau Donnie Wahlberg on national television in Times Square New Year’s Eve, but the party quickly ended for the Playboy-Playmate-of-the-Year-turned-comedian-turned-talk-show-host.
An article appeared January 3 on the entertainment news site Radar Online, claiming that in an interview with Time Magazine, the 41-year-old former model said that her son Evan — now 11 years old — no longer suffered from autism.
Despite her TV and film credits and her status as 1993’s top Playboy centerfold, Jenny McCarthy has become known as an advocate for the medically discredited belief that childhood vaccinations can cause autism.
In 2002, she became a mother for the first and so far only time, with a boy fathered by her then-husband, actor/director John Mallory Asher.
McCarthy and Asher divorced in 2005 after seven years of marriage. She subsequently entered a relationship with comedian/actor Jim Carrey. Currently, she is dating Blue Bloods star and former New Kids On The Block singer Donnie Wahlberg.
The 2012 Time interview, cited by Radar, quoted Jenny McCarthy saying, “Evan couldn’t talk — now he talks. Evan couldn’t make eye contact — now he makes eye contact. Evan was antisocial — now he makes friends.”
The article said that McCarthy now asserted that Evan did not have autism after all, and she was altering her position against childhood vaccination.
But on the social media platform Twitlong — which allows Twitter-like posts of more than 140 characters — the latest co-host of ABC’s afternoon, female-targeted talk show, The View, blasted the Radar report:
“Stories circulating online, claiming that I said my son Evan may not have autism after all, are blatantly inaccurate and completely ridiculous, The implication that I have changed my position, that my child was not initially diagnosed with autism (and instead may suffer from Landau-Kleffner Syndrome), is both irresponsible and inaccurate. These stories cite a “new” Time Magazine interview with me, which was actually published in 2010, that never contained any such statements by me. Continued misrepresentations, such as these, only serve to open wounds of the many families who are courageously dealing with this disorder.”
Jenny McCarthy concluded with what sounds like a lawsuit threat:
“Please know that I am taking every legal measure necessary to set this straight.”
She said that her son’s diagnosis was performed by “Autism Evaluation Clinic at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital and was confirmed by the State of California (through their Regional Center).”
It was unclear from her statement whether Jenny McCarthy remains committed to the idea that vaccination caused her son’s autism, but her statement denying she “changed my position” would seem to indicate she is.
The idea is no longer taken seriously by the medical community, based on the results of long-term studies into the possible connection. Citing a study performed in 2013 which confirmed findings of 2004 research, the Center For Disease Control says, contrary to the Jenny McCarthy position, “there is not a causal relationship between certain vaccine types and autism….Autism spectrum disorder is not associated with immunological stimulation from vaccines during the first 2 years of life.”