Inside the Tragic Life of Loni Willison
To the outside world, she lived the “perfect life” where she was married to a wealthy Hollywood star and graced the cover of fitness magazines.
But that wasn’t what it seemed and now ex-swimwear model Loni Willison, 38, was caught on camera dragging her material possessions into a trolley after being homeless for several years.
It followed a messy divorce from Baywatch actor Jeremy Jackson eight years ago and reported drug and alcohol abuse, which she denied.
Loni is now unrecognizable from her glamorous blonde bombshell snaps as she walked the streets smoking a cigarette and rummaging through trash cans for food.
The images highlight the model’s rapid and tragic decline after losing her job and home, and avoiding offers of help.
Heartbreakingly, she once claimed that she made herself look as dirty as possible to avoid being sexually abused on the street.
Two years ago she told The Sun: “I can live on my own. I have everything I need here. Nobody really cares about me and I don’t want to see them, they don’t want me to see. .”
Drunk rows and alleged attack
When Loni and Jeremy tied the knot on a California beach in 2012, dressed in white and flanked by their snow-white dog, the duo looked like the ultimate Hollywood couple.
Californian Jeremy, now 41, rose to fame as Hobie Buchanan, the son of David Hasselhoff’s lifeguard Mitch, when he was 11 and played the role until the age of 18 years old, before leaving in 1999.
Loni, also from California, was the stunning model who graced the cover of fitness magazines in skimpy sportswear and swimsuits.
A series of red carpet appearances followed and they seemed to be madly in love.
But Jeremy, a former child star, already had a history of drug addiction, which began during his teenage years on Baywatch.
He had been arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine, at age 19, had spent 90 days in prison for possession and completed five stints in rehab.
While they looked like the perfect couple from the outside, the picture behind closed doors was far from rosy.
The marriage escalated into booze-fuelled arguments, and in August 2014 police were called to their home after Jeremy allegedly attacked Loni.
She later claimed he strangled and beat her, leaving her with two broken ribs, an injured neck and scratches on her face and body, but decided not to press charges.
The couple separated right after the alleged attack, which she only revealed after her ex walked into the Celebrity Big Brother house a year later in 2015.
But that marked the beginning of Loni’s mental health issues and downward spiral.
“It took me over two months to recover properly,” she said.
“I ended up having to quit my job as a plastic surgeon’s assistant and couldn’t train or accept modeling work.
“I didn’t go out with friends or do anything – I was in a very bad place.”
Allegations of “electrocution torture” in his own apartment
When her ex was kicked out of the CBB for exposing Chloe Goodman’s breasts, she urged her to press charges, “for her own good”.
“I didn’t report it when he attacked me because I was scared,” she added. “I was emotionally in a bad state and I didn’t want Jeremy to go to jail.
“At least now everyone can see what I had to put up with.”
But losing her job at the cosmetic surgery business, after the 2014 split, was the first in a series of blows as her life spiraled out of control.
She suffered a nervous breakdown, leaving her unable to work.
Her lack of money led her into debt, and in 2016 she lost her rental apartment and can no longer afford to keep her car.
Finding herself homeless, she developed a crystal meth addiction and her mental health deteriorated.
In a 2018 interview, she claimed she was electrocuted in her old apartment and said she thought her body was so full of electrical charges that she posed a danger to others.
“I was being tortured in my house, my flat,” Loni told the Daily Mail. “I was living alone but I was electrocuted.
“It was really bad, really awful. Later I found a red mark on the back of my neck and I think that’s how the electricity was going into my head.
She said she tried talking to friends but “had trouble getting them to understand what I was talking about, so I just stopped talking to everyone”.
Loni also claimed to have seen Jeremy standing outside her apartment as she was ‘tortured’.
She said her “charge” meant she would bring down the buildings she slept in – and the only thing that could stop her was taking drugs.
At the time, Loni added that living on the streets was ‘survival of the fittest’ and that she had not showered in over a year in a bid to avoid abuse.
“I get robbed all the time. People take my stuff,” she said.
“Basically, I make myself as dirty as possible so that no one attacks me.
“The dirtier I am, the better. Smelly too. If I do those two things, it seems to work.
“I also cut my hair to look different. I cut it myself. But I was attacked, it has to happen too.
Disappearance after friend’s offer to help
After she was first photographed sleeping under a shopping cart, Loni’s model pal Kristin Rossetti tracked her down and put her in a hotel for the night, giving her fresh clothes and a hot meal .
But after talking all night, Loni refused her friend’s offer to pay for her rehab and ran away, disappearing for two years and leaving friends worried for her safety.
“Loni is in desperate need of our help, she needs to get off the streets and get treatment,” Kristen said at the time.
“It makes me so sad, but you can’t force someone to accept your help, they have to want to help themselves.”
Loni finally surfaced in October 2020, rummaging through trash cans near Venice Beach, for clothes and food.
Her once-beautiful appearance was ravaged by addiction and she lost several teeth.
It was yards from celebrity mansions, including Ben Affleck’s £5million home.
Speaking to The Sun, she said: “I haven’t spoken to Jeremy. I don’t want to speak to my friends, I’m fine. I don’t want anyone to help me.”
She added: “I don’t have a cell phone. I have food and I have a place to sleep. I get money here and there and there is food in the bins and near shops. There are a lot of them here.”
Hundreds of destitute Americans live in tents on or near Venice Beach, and the situation has worsened since the start of the pandemic.
He did not do anything. It was worth nothing to him. He gave nothing. It was appalling, sickening
Cindy Kovacs, Jeremy Jackson’s ex
Portable toilets and water points have been installed to help the homeless.
In the tragic latest footage, Loni is seen munching on a pizza she found in a dumpster and sharing it with a nearby squirrel.
Dressed in long socks, fishnet tights and a denim jacket, the former model drags behind her a cart full of clothes and bedding.
While Loni still struggles with her addictions, her now 41-year-old ex-husband manages to stay clean and is now a leading figure in the Los Angeles fitness scene, posting muscled photos on his Instagram page.
He declined to comment on his ex-wife’s fate when asked repeatedly, but another ex, Cindy Kovacs, slammed the actor for refusing to help Loni after they split in 2014.
She told The Sun: “It’s really sad what happened to Loni and she never got the help she needed.
” He did not do anything. It was worth nothing to him. He gave nothing. It was appalling, sickening.”
The new footage will send heartache to pals, like Kristen, who still care about the glamorous former babe.
Hopefully they will get Loni the help she desperately needs.