Inciting a "Page Six" scandal usually requires a high-profile career, a stint on reality TV or a famous last name. But former rentboy Jason Preston, 25, a longtime Hell’s Kitchen denizen who grew up in South Carolina, has kept bitchy bloggers busy just by dating celebrity fave fashion designer Marc Jacobs, 43. Arriving at Vlada Lounge on his way to meet Marc at the Mercer Hotel with a fleet of Louis Vuitton luggage (a gift from Jacobs) and doggie Gia in tow, Jason sat down with us to defend his relationship and set all the haters straight.
By Brandon Voss
HX: What about Hell’s Kitchen appeals to you?
Jason Preston: I decided to live there because I love the high rises and all the cute little restaurants. And the bars in Hell’s Kitchen aren’t "stand and model" bars like they are in Chelsea. I love therapy and Posh – I like the music they both play. And one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood is Jezebel. It’s really good Southern food.
How long were you a rentboy?
I did it for a year and a half. It was just a thing I had to do – I didn’t have a job, and I had a friend who made it look so glamorous, and so I did it. I don’t regret it. I don’t regret anything. The money was glamorous, but everything else wasn’t. It just wasn’t me. I met some interesting people, but that’s about it.
How did you first meet Marc?
We met at one of his fashion shows. I know it sounds crazy, but I actually didn’t know who he was. I got invited to the show by a friend, and I really didn’t care. But I thought Marc was hot, he obviously thought I was hot, so that’s how it all started. It was an instant connection – kind of intense. We’ve been together almost a year now.
So Marc has never paid you to be his companion?
Of course not! But that’s not the only rumor. I also hear that we’re both drug addicts, that I do heroin – I’ve never even seen heroin, let alone done it. I experimented with meth and it was fun, but then I saw what it did to people around me – like my best friend – and it was enough to make me say no. I just don’t want shit going around about me, but especially about Marc, because Marc doesn’t even drink. He doesn’t do anything except make amazing clothes.
Does he buy you pretty things?
He bought me a Rolex for Valentine’s Day. He’s very good to me.
Are you in love?
Of course. He’s the first person to make me feel beautiful every single day, and feel that I actually have a reason for living. He’s my heart.
Rumor also has it that that during Sandra Bernhard’s recent party at Splash, you were seen screaming, "Fuck you! I’m not your slave!" at Marc outside the bar.
Oh my God, that’s the fucking biggest lie I’ve ever heard! We’re always loud because we’re really obnoxious together, but I don’t know how anyone would confuse that with yelling at each other.
What were you thinking getting the tattoo of his name on your forearm?
He came in town to see me and said, "I’m getting my dogs tattooed on my arm. Do you want one?" And I was like, "No, I think they’re trashy." Then when we were there, I was like, "You know what? I’m going to get your name tattooed on my arm." When it was my turn I chickened out, and he was like, "I knew you’d be a pussy." So I just did it. It was just this spur-of-the-moment, intense thing. And it got so much press. It was kind of great and strange at the same time. That’s when all the rumors started.
How do you feel about the exposure?
It’s just weird. I don’t know why people would write blogs about me. It’s not that the rumors bother me, but... I don’t know, they do and they don’t. But when I’m on "Page Six," it’s like, Come on, don’t you have anything better to write about?
Planning on doing anything positive with your newfound notoriety?
No. All my friends think I should get into acting, but I’m just not sure that’s me. I may take classes.
What’s it like to roll with Marc?
It’s fucking insane! He doesn’t even like to go out, but I drag him. Because of him, I hang out with the most amazing people – Lindsay, Kate Moss, we had a party at fuckin’ Mariah’s house. Whenever we go out, it’s intense. To everybody else, he’s Marc Jacobs. But to me, he’s just Marc.
Do people throw shade your way?
We prefer to hang out with straight people and people in the entertainment industry because they don’t throw shade like gay people. We like Duvet, but we usually go to Marquee, Bungalow 8 and Double 7s.
Do you and Marc live together?
He lives in Paris. Sometimes he’s here for a week, two weeks out of the month – it depends.
Does that mean you have an open relationship?
Hmm. If he hooked up with somebody, I’d be upset – and vice versa. So I guess not. But we don’t talk about it.
How’s the sex?
Oh my God, I cannot believe you’re asking me that! [Laughs] It’s hot – that’s all you get.
HX, May 2006 issue.
In our May 2006 cover story, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” former rent boy and substance abuser Jason Preston defended his “Marc Jacobs” forearm tattoo and denied allegations that he was being paid by the fashion designer for his companionship. Now, addressing recent engagement rumors for the first time, the 27-year-old party promoter (Hot Mess Sundays at Porky’s) reveals what really goes on behind the seams of their on-again, off-again romance.
By Brandon Voss
HX: In the new September issue of Out, Marc said you and he were dunzo. What’s your status today?
Jason Preston: We’re back together. That interview was done a while ago. He warned me, “You’re really not going to like what I said.” I read it and was like, “What do you mean we had no fucking chemistry?!” I was pissed for, like, two seconds, and then I was over it.
Why did you get back together?
We could break up again tomorrow, but he’ll always be in my heart and I’ll always be in his. Nothing’s ever going to change between us. One of us will always keep running back.
Does making up involve crying, begging and jewelry?
None of that. The last time we broke up, we got in a fight and I stormed out, being dramatic, and we didn’t talk for a while. Then randomly, I’ll send a text, he’ll send a text, saying, “Hope you’re doing well.” Then he’ll say, “I’m in town,” I’ll go to see him, and as soon the door opens, there’s that big spark again.
Why’s your relationship so volatile?
We’ve just always been in different places, but I’m trying to travel the same path as him. I’d go out every single night, he’d come home and I’d never be there. But that was in my party days. I’m more about going to the gym now, getting my fitness on, eating right — and no drugs or alcohol.
Is that difficult?
Not at all. It’s funny because when I go out now since being sober, everybody seems different. People are slurring their words and I’m like, God, did I act like that when I was high and drunk? It’s kind of annoying because people scream in your ear and I never noticed that before. It’s like, Can you please shut the fuck up?
Has living the clean life together been a bonding experience?
Yes. It’s weird because he’s always been amazing, but when we first met, he looked different. Now he looks amazing. I was with him back then because of the way he made me feel, and we had so much fun together, but now it’s even better.
Including your sex life?
Oh my God. Amazing!
He said in Out that he didn’t blame you for his March rehab relapse, but do you feel at all responsible?
We weren’t together when that happened. But everybody makes his own choice. He made his, I’ve made mine, and now we’re on the same path, so it’s great.
You used to party hard with Lindsay Lohan. Can we at least blame you for her problems?
No. Lindsay is one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met. Everybody thinks she’s just a partygirl, but that’s not the case. She’s a great friend and I love her with all my heart. She has issues she needs to work out, but this time around she’s going to come back and fuckin’ prove to everybody who she really is. I’ve gone to see her a couple of times and she’s looking gorgeous. She’s happy and finding her way. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Why the new “Mariah” tattoo?
I got “Marc Jacobs” because he’s my best friend and I’ll always love him. And I got “Mariah” because she’s a great friend, I grew up loving her, and now that I know her, I love her even more. I know I’ll never regret it, so that’s why I got it.
Does Mariah think you’re crazier than she is?
Of course not! Why would she? She knows about it, though. I sent her manager Benny a picture and said, “I want to be in the new video!” So they’re hopefully going to let me know when the video’s going to happen.
Did you make Marc get his “J.” tattoo?
No, but I was like, “People won’t know what the ‘J.’ means. It could stand for Jacobs!” So just recently I told him he needed to go all the way and put the word “Jason.”
Do you consider yourself Marc’s muse?
Well, he says that, but I don’t know. He’ll show me sketches and I’ll be like, “That’s dumb” or “That’s pretty” — shit like that. But I always support him. When he’s stressed out, working on a show, thinking, “I don’t know if it’s going to get done, if it’s going to look good,” I’m always saying, “It’s going to be the best show yet.” And every show’s been better than the last.
So are you guys really engaged?
Hmm. [long pause] Okay, I’ll just tell you how it went down. We always say crazy retarded things, but a couple of weeks ago he came back from shopping, looked at me and said, “You promise to love me and be with me forever?” I said, “Yes.” And then he gave me the ring.
A Cartier band, right?
Yes, and it’s fierce. It’s exactly what I’d want if I ever got married to anybody, but it’s kind of crazy — the thought of being married to a man.
Are you planning a ceremony?
I’m just living for now. I’m going to see what happens.
Who’ll be your best man?
Wouldn’t I have bridesmaids? [Gasps] Wouldn’t it be fierce if my bridesmaids were Mariah, Naomi Campbell and Lindsay?
Totes. Why do people dislike you?
There are always going to be haters out there and it’s not going to stop me. I like to think that it’s jealousy — who wouldn’t want to date Marc Jacobs? Whatever, those people are stupid. Oh, I’m trying to work on not being so judgmental and not talking shit about everybody. I’m trying to be the best man I can be.
What do you want to do with your life, Jason?
I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to do with my life. I want to open up an organization for children living with HIV and AIDS. That’s something that’s really close to my heart. I really don’t care about making money.
Not that you need to, honey!
HX, September 2007; extended online version.