Fran Drescher Once Claimed She & Her Ex-Husband Were "Programmed to Meet" by Aliens

She and The Nanny co-creator Peter Marc Jacobson remained best friends after their split.

Fran Drescher is known around the world for her trademark laugh, but according to her, she was destined for fame long before that, thanks to what she believes was a visit from extraterrestials in middle school. While the actor would eventually land a role in Saturday Night Fever and become a household name via her role as Fran Fine in The Nanny in the 1990s, she has also said that her former husband had an alien encounter, too, and that their subsequent relationship was quite literally written in the stars. Read on to learn about Drescher's cosmic claim.

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Drescher and her ex were married for 21 years.

Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson in 1997
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Drescher met Peter Marc Jacobson when they were in high school together, and the couple tied the knot in 1978. Years later, they co-created The Nanny, for which Jacobson served as showrunner. Their marriage came to an end in 1999, the same year the show went off the air. The couple didn't speak of their split publicly for ages, but a tabloid reported that Jacobson had come out as gay.

"We were best friends in high school. And we're best friends now," Drescher said when the exes appeared on Oprah together that year. Jacobson added that he was not aware of his sexuality when they were together. "We were living a heterosexual life," he explained. "I wasn't having affairs on the side or anything like that. I thought that I was straight."

He came to the realization in therapy, which they both embarked upon after they were the victims of a traumatic home invasion in 1985. "I saw three psychologists through our marriage that said to me, 'You're straight. You're not gay. You may have thoughts about it. You're not acting on it. Other men have these thoughts,'" Jacobson recalled.

Their relationship and subsequent friendship inspired the former couple to create the 2011 sitcom, Happily Divorced, in which Drescher starred.

Drescher believes aliens played a role in their romance.

Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson in 2011
Dave Kotinsky/WireImage for TV Land

Considering how close they've stayed, you could say Drescher and Jacobson's relationship was meant to be. Drescher certainly would, and she credits visitors from another planet for bringing them together.

In 2012, she told HuffPost that both and Peter had been abducted by aliens when they were kids.

"You know, it's funny because Peter and I both saw [aliens] before we knew each other, doing the same thing, driving on the road with our dads," she said. "We were both in junior high. A few years later, we met, and we realized that we had the same experience. I think that somehow we were programmed to meet. We both have this scar. It's the exact same scar on the exact same spot."

Jacobson isn't convinced.

Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson in 2022
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Drescher went on to tell the outlet that Jacobson doesn't share her belief and has told her that she must have burnt her hand or somehow injured it to get her scar. But she remains sure that it's proof of her abduction. "I said to him, 'That's what the aliens programmed us to think,'" she said to HuffPost. "But really, that's where the chip is."

They're even closer now than they were when they were married.

Peter Marc Jacobson and Fran Drescher in 2022
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Despite their divorce (and their disagreement over whether or not they have an alien-related origin story), Drescher and Jacobson are still very much a part of each others' lives. Drescher told The Daily Mail in June of this year, "Over the course of time, we kept moving towards each other and now we are probably closer than when we were married: business partners, best of friends and definitely a family."

In 2020, she told Page Six that having Jacobson around alleviated her need for another romantic partnership. "I have my gay ex-husband who I love, and he fulfills a lot of needs," she said.

Not all of them, of course. She added that while she wasn't really dating, she did have an unnamed "friend with benefits" who she saw twice a month. "He comes over, we hang out and we do the hot tub and I make us some food and we lay in bed and maybe we'll watch tennis together, whatever it is or a movie," the 65-year-old star said. "We talk, we have good conversations. Of course we have sex and it's delightful and it keeps me going."

She doesn't plan on getting married again.

Fran Drescher in 2022
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

In 2014, Drescher and entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai took part in a commitment ceremony and confirmed that they had tied the knot via Twitter, per The Los Angeles Times. However, he later clarified that it wasn't a traditional marriage but a celebration with their families. Either way, the two split in 2016, and Drescher isn't in the market for another husband—partially, because she still has Jacobson.

"I don't think I will ever walk up the aisle with anyone," she told The Daily Mail. "We are divorced, but still single because it is hard to compete with what we shared. We have been together since we were 15 and we've been through so much."

They may have aliens to thank for that.

Karen Fratti
Karen Fratti is an entertainment and culture writer. She went to Temple University, where she received a B.A. in English and has an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University. Read more
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