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AJ Benza Biography
AJ Benza (Alfred Joseph Benza) is an American television host, gossip columnist, author, and actor. In the 1990’s he was a celebrated gossip columnist. He is the host of ‘Fame is a Bitch’ podcast.
His family moved to West Islip, New York on Long Island after his birth. He has two sisters. A.J graduated from West Islip High School in 1980 and later joined C.W. Post College on Long Island where he majored in Journalism.
A.J. Benza Age
He was born on 2nd June 1962 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York (56 years as of 2018).
AJ Benza Family
His full name is Alfred Joseph Benza, was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. Benza’s parents are AL (father) and Lilian (mother). He has two sisters Rosalie and Lorraine. When Benza was born his family moved to West Islip, New York (Long Island) from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
AJ Benza Education
After graduating from West Islip High School in 1980, Benza majored in journalism at C.W. Post College on Long Island.AJ Benza
AJ Benza Wife
In 2013 Benza married Virginia Folk. He was previously married and got divorced in 1991, details about his first wife are not available but during an interview, he revealed that he got divorced in 1991.
‘After my divorce in 1991, I started heading into Manhattan and hitting any nightclub that would let me in. Once I made friends with a few doormen I was able to go almost anywhere.’
AJ Benza Children
Together with his wife Virginia has two children Roxy Benza and Rocco Benza.
AJ Benza Podcast
AJ Benza hosts a podcast ‘Fame is a Bitch’ where he deconstructs some of the biggest scandals and tragedies of our lifetime. These stories are about the powerful seduction and fateful grip of fame. Our tragic figures are those that couldn’t fight off the influences, pressures, and distractions that worked like grease upon their grip. Benza brings an insiders perspective and his tough-guy demeanor, bold narratives and aggressive pursuit of the truth, distinguish him as an authentic and original voice.
AJ Benza Stuttering John | Howard Stern
In 2011 when AJ Benza appeared on The Howard Stern Show he slapped a Stern staff “Stuttering John” Melendez in the face due to his belief that Melendez was choosing to only put negative calls through. Melendez had also made a prank call which berated Benza’s failed talk show A. J. After Hours. The incident led to Tom Chiusano giving him a lifetime ban from Stern’s show
AJ Benza Donald Trump
In 2016 during an interview with Adam Carolla AJ Benza talked about his earlier days as a gossip reporter in New York City. He said he used to hung out with celebrities until the wee wee hours of the morning, reported out sensational rumors, and constantly traded favors in order to get juicy tidbits for columns at Newsday and the New York Daily News.
Most of the trades he said involved owing to the source a favor in the future. He revealed that Donald Trump was one of his biggest sources.
“Donald Trump was the biggest guy in the world with that, Trump spent every morning on the phone with me, with Page 6––he loved to get his name in the paper. As a result, he would drop dimes on other people in every industry he knew the dirt on. You put the story in the paper, and then, three days later, you say, ‘Donald Trump was at a Knicks game with this supermodel.’ And he’s happy. That’s all it took.”
He called Trump shameless and shrewd at the same time.
“you might not like his style, but no one has played the American public and the U.S. government to this extent, and the media,” adding, “when he was with Marla Maples and we were going to write that they broke up, he cared more about ‘get my wealth in there, get the number right, how many billions I’m worth––that’s more important.’” Benza said.
During an interview with Huffington Post, he said that he asked Trump why he wants to be the president of America and miss out on things on which he said he loved America and want to fix certain things.
“Before he won, I actually asked him ‘are you really serious about doing this? How many great summers do you have left in life?’ He replied ‘at least 30.’ He thinks grandly. I asked: ‘Why would you want to spend the next 4 years away from the things you love?’ He said ‘I love America and I want to fix certain things.’”
He also revealed that he at times writes to Trump when he is unhappy about his decisions.
” Although I voted for Trump, I destroyed him on my podcast and when I’m unhappy with decisions he’s made, I call it out. I know an awful lot about him personally and I do knock him. I still send him notes when I think he’s off. Once he got back to me about it. When he acknowledges what I’ve said and basically expresses that he appreciates my points or my perspective, that’s really the most you can hope for with him. He’s a confident man who doesn’t say he was wrong. He will say: ‘That idea may not be 100 percent wrong'”.
AJ Benza Harvey Weinstein
Benza knew of Harvey Weinstein’s affair with Georgina Chapman in 2003 while he was still married. Benza offered Weinstein with gossip that would draw attention away from his affair.
In 2017 when reports emerged about sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, Weinstein reached out to Benza asking for his help. He discussed paying Benza “up to $20,000 a month” to investigate the claims made against him although Weinstein did not follow up on his claim.
Case Closed AJ Benza
In 2016 A.J. Benza presented Case Closed, in the show Benza explores famous tragedies and mysteries involving celebrities. He presented new and old evidence to help solve the puzzles that often made headlines when the deaths occurred. First-person accounts from family members, eyewitnesses and experts help uncover the truth that helps Benza close each case.
AJ Benza Career
AJ Benza began his career writing sports for Long Island Newsday for a few years. After his divorce in 1991, he began visiting night clubs and one day Mickey Rourke took him to a Rex, a little spot downtown. While at the club he said during an interview he saw drugs, sex, etc that blew him away. He called Linda Stasi, who was editing the “Inside New York” gossip page for NY Newsday and gave her a few tidbits. He was soon hired by NY Newsday, through assistance from Linda Stasi.
The Daily News was bought by Mort Zuckerman, after a few months, and wanted Linda. Linda bought AJ alongside. A year later Linda quit and Benza became the writer and editor of the page “Hot Copy.” He eventually began writing, “Downtown,” a Sunday column all about him and his exploits. He was later fired from New York Daily News by editor Pete Hamill.
In the mid-1990’s he began appearing on ‘The Gossip Show’ on E! Entertainment Television. He made appearances on talk shows such as Geraldo, Hard Copy, The Montel Williams Show, The Maury Povich Show, and various other television talk shows.
After he was fired from New York Daily News he began hosting Mysteries and Scandals on E!. The program detailed true crimes and scandals involving celebrities. His most famed catchphrase on the show was “Fame, ain’t it a bitch,” which later became the title of his autobiography. The show ran between 1998 and 2000 for three seasons.
Benza began a late-night E! talk show known as A. J. After Hours in 2001 although it was canceled after low viewership and critical acclaim.
Benza hosted the reality show Cold Turkey II on ION Television. He was also a co-host on the first five seasons of High Stakes Poker (along with Gabe Kaplan) on the GSN.
He appeared in ‘Gimmie My Reality Show’, a reality competition series on Fox Reality, in 2008. The show followed a group of D-list celebrities with previous reality credentials as they battle for their chance to shine with their own show. But, midway through the show, he walked away from production. He cited not wanting to have his young children subjected to cameras inside their home.
AJ Benza Books
- 2001: Fame, ain’t it a bitch
- 2015: ’74 and Sunny
AJ Benza Movies
- The Deli
- Not Even the Trees
- Chump Change
- Risque, P.S. Your Cat Is Dead!
- Pauly Shore Is Dead
- Rocky Balboa
AJ Benza Net Worth
Benza has an estimated net worth of $500 thousand.