When he was 38, Jerry Seinfeld met a 17-year-old girl in a park. Then they started dating.

Over the last few days, we've been reminded of a very specific story concerning actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld thanks to a viral (and admittedly, probably fake) post on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Media personality and author 'Meecham Whitson Meriweather' raked in over 92,000 likes and 20.2 million views when he claimed he'd gone to school with the then 17-year-old ex-girlfriend of the Seinfeld actor. 

The post was almost definitely a lie, but still, it took a lot of us back to the time when globally known older celebrities could get away with dating... teenagers.


Confused? Allow me to explain. 

Anyone who's been to New York's Central Park — or watched any of the gazillion movies set in and around the Manhattan icon —  knows that it's teeming with activity. There are joggers, dog walkers, tourists upon tourists, and kids sailing model boats. 

And on one particular day in 1993, Central Park was also the location of an infamous meet-cute. Or, the location of whatever the opposite of 'meet-cute' is, perhaps.

In Central Park, 38-year-old Seinfeld, the Emmy-winning star of the biggest show on television at the time, spotted a 17-year-old high school student.

Seinfeld approached the girl, named Shoshanna Lonstein. They flirted and hit it off enough for her to give him her number.

Following that meeting, Seinfeld and Lonstein, dated for four years, but the comedian long maintained that they did not begin the relationship until she was 18.

Shoshanna Lonstein and Jerry Seinfeld at the 1st Annual Screen Actors Guild of America Awards in 1995. Image: Getty. 


The 90s were a different time, sure. Age gaps and power dynamics were definitely not interrogated or acknowleged like they are now. But people still had suspicions about their 21-year age difference. It was mocked routinely.

For example, Spy Magazine referred to Lonstein as "a legal voter" following her 18th.

Shortly after the big birthday, Seinfeld appeared on radio host Howard Stern's show where he was grilled.

"So, you sit in Central Park and have a candy bar on a string and pull it when the girls come?" Stern asked, feigning exasperation.

"She's not 17, definitely not," Seinfeld replied, flustered.

A month later, he returned to the show where Stern once again brought up their Central Park meeting when Lonstein was 17.


"I didn't realise she was so young," Seinfeld said. "This is the only girl I ever went out with who was that young. I wasn't dating her. We just went to a restaurant, and that was it."

But their relationship was also the subject of a fairly complimentary People magazine story in 1994.

"The Game of Love," the article was headlined.

"When Jerry Seinfeld fell for 17-year-old Shoshanna Lonstein, cynics snickered," its subheadline said. "No more."

Seinfeld and Lonstein at the 1996 Emmys. Image: Getty. 


The couple became a tabloid favourite. Neighbours of Lonstein's parents told media they frequently saw Seinfeld pick her up in a limousine, and paparazzi even captured them leaving her school together.

After a whirlwind summer relationship, Lonstein went to college at George Washington University in D.C. and Seinfeld went to Los Angeles, where his TV show Seinfeld was filmed. But they stayed together and were frequently spotted visiting each other - either walking through the Washington campus, or grabbing lunch with famous friends in Studio City.

"I am not an idiot. Shoshanna is a person, not an age. She is extremely bright. She's funny, sharp, very alert. We just get along. You can hear the click," Seinfeld told People in March 1994.

He also told Playboy that he didn't "meet many women I like, period".

"So when I like someone, I don't care about her race, creed or national origin. If I like her, I don't care. I don't discriminate. If she's 18, if she's intelligent, that's fine."

They dated for four years, before breaking up in 1997 when he was 42, and she was 21.

At the time, Lonstein had enrolled at UCLA, while Seinfeld continued to also work in California. Supposedly, Seinfeld had proposed but they realised they were at different life stages.


"He worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week," she later explained in Details magazine. "And I wanted to run around and play."

After their relationship, Seinfeld dated his now-wife Jessica Sklar, which became yet another tabloid favourite due to the fact that she was newly married to another man when they started seeing each other.

He reflected on his breakup with Lonstein in a 1998 Vanity Fair interview.

"We were very much in love. But the timing wasn't quite right. I almost got married to Shoshanna."

But it may not have been just the timing: "I don't want my wife to work," Seinfeld said. "I've had enough career for both of us."

A few months later, Lonstein told The Observer it was "a part of my life that's so over".

"I don't really think about it. It was a relationship, that's all."

In the decades since, Lonstein has established herself as a successful fashion designer. She married music executive Joshua Gruss and had three kids before their divorce in 2014.

Seinfeld, meanwhile, has remained one of the world's most recognisable comedians.

This article was published on November 11, 2022 and has since been updated with new information.

Feature image: Getty.