“I am a modern Mary Magdalene, the truth of who I am was blacked out. Steve fancied himself a Christ figure, but hated women, was a delusional contemporary business, religious fundamentalist who spread a culture of reality distortion”, Chrisann Brennan
Brennan and I recently spent a day together in an intimate conversation about her relationship with Steve Jobs. Her story is the least known part of the Apple saga. I will be sharing video highlights of that remarkable dialogue in the next few days. Meantime, if the name Chrisann Brennan doesn’t ring a bell for you, here’s some background.
Who is Chrisann Brennan?
Brennan was Steve Jobs’ first love. They met at Homestead High School, Cupertino when they were 17; and had a tumultuous relationship through their college years and the early days of Apple. In 1978, Brennan told Jobs she was pregnant. He initially denied paternity, aggressively and forcefully. Despite going to meet his daughter when she was three days old, and helping Brennan choose the name Lisa, it was only after a DNA test that he finally acknowledged, and helped support his daughter and her mother. For many years, Brennan was forced to wait tables and clean houses to keep a roof over their heads. You may remember that Lisa was the name of one of Apple’s first computer products, though for some time, Steve Jobs maintained that it stood for “Local Integrated Software Architecture.”
During our conversation, Brennan describes how she first met Jobs and he gave her the profound lyrics of a Bob Dylan song; their experiments with LSD; and his biggest fears. After a lifetime of reflection, she shares her insights on why she thinks he changed from the painfully shy and goofy teenager who was deeply in love, to the ruthless businessman who “lost his humanity.” Brennan says that the universal message in her book “The Bite In The Apple” is about the plight of single mothers.
“There are so many women who’ve gone through what I’ve gone through…The bite out of the apple, it’s a blame on the feminine, the collective unconscious that we live in. Who cares about a woman and a child? I felt so guilty…he (Jobs) tapped into people’s weakest, deepest self doubt and played on it…made me invisible,” Chrisann Brennan.