Amy Schumer on her abusive ex: ‘I thought no one would ever love me as much’

Amy Schumer has just released her first book, a memoir entitled The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo. Amy’s acerbic humor appears throughout, like the number of people with whom she has slept and the fact that she can’t remember all of their names so she’s given them nicknames. I might possibly relate to this more than I should. However, some of the memories she shares are dark and painful. Below are a sampling of some of the essays in the book. Two of the references in the excerpt deal with abuse so be warned for those reading.

She found boyfriend Ben Hanisch on a dating app: While hanging out with friend – and Trainwreck costar – SNL cast member Vanessa Bayer, Schumer says, “Vanessa said she’d heard of a dating app for your phone specifically aimed at creative people.”

After searching for possible dates, she “liked” a few men before matching with one guy: Ben Hanisch. He wasn’t an actor or photographer, as many of the men on the app were, and he didn’t live in N.Y.C. or L.A., but in Chicago.

She lost her virginity at 17 – during nonconsensual sex: “Without asking first, without kissing me, without so much as looking me in the eyes – or even confirming if I was awake,” she writes. Her boyfriend, upset the next day, apologized. Then Schumer says, she comforted him, telling him everything would be OK. “I was seventeen years old and wanted my boyfriend to like me.”

Her Mother Had an Affair With Her Best Friend’s Father: Schumer spoke about the moment that one of her dearest friendships came to an end, because the actress’ mom fell in love with her best friend’s dad (while still married to Schumer’s father).

Amy explained that one day she came home to find her mother extremely distraught, and that’s when she found out what was going on. “Because she couldn’t communicate vocally, she had to sign it to me. Since she is a teacher of the deaf, we all know a good amount of sign language in my family. Slowly, her hands trembling, she rose and signed to me, ‘I am leaving your father. Lou and I have fallen in love with each other.’ I signed the world, ‘again’ because I needed her to repeat herself. Again she signed, ‘I am leaving your father. Lou and I have fallen in love with each other.'”

She Was in An Abusive Relationship: “It proceeded to get worse and worse, and I started escaping the apartment whenever I could. I’d go to Starbucks, lock myself in the bathroom, and sit on the floor and cry. I knew I should go back to the East Coast, but I thought no one would ever love me as much as he did. I believed he was just as passionate about me as I was about him, and that if I did a better job of not making him mad, we’d be fine. I really felt he loved me. And I really loved him.

“I think somewhere in the course of our relationship, I started to confuse his anger and aggression for passion and love. I actually started to think that real love was supposed to look like that. The more you yelled at each other, the more you loved each other. The more physical an demeaning it got, the more you were really getting through to each other. And the more I was willing to stand by him, the more he’d understand I truly loved him and that we should be together forever.”

[From People and E! News]

Among the other stories in the book is Amy’s sad recounting of her father’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis when she was ten years old. So much happened to Amy when she was young. She was thirteen when her mom left. To clarify, her mother teaches sign language but she can speak, she was just distraught in that moment. I appreciate how upset she was but I really think she should have been thinking more about Amy receiving the news than her not wanting to deliver it. Amy’s abusive relationship took place when she was only in her early twenties. Amy emphasizes, “It can happen to anyone. You’re not alone if it’s happening to you, and you’re not exempt if it hasn’t happened to you yet.”

As for the part about her boyfriend, I can’t find what app she used but when Amy first went public with Ben, it was reported that they met on the feminist app Bumble. Amy quickly shot that down and pointedly said she had never been on Bumble in her life. At the time, I thought she was issuing such a strong statement because she hadn’t used any app but I guess she just really did not want to be associated with that app – and that makes me curious as to why? Also, about Ben not being an actor or photographer? He has described himself as both those things.

All in all, it sounds like the book is a mixture of both humorous and deep stories that shaped Amy’s life and comedy. I hope writing them down was cathartic for her, she’s had to overcome quite a bit. Amy’s world tour begins in Dublin on August 26 and she just wrapped her still untitled mother-daughter action/comedy project with Goldie Hawn.




Photo credit: Twitter and WENN Photos

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31 Responses to “Amy Schumer on her abusive ex: ‘I thought no one would ever love me as much’”

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  1. INeedANap says:

    Remember — no one punches you on the first date.

    Anyone can end up in an abusive relationship, no one is too smart or strong or financially solvent. If you need help please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or go to in incognito mode. Be safe lovelies.

    • BangersandMash says:

      I remember sitting and talking to my best friend about the times we were passed out and found something had taken place with us unconsciously.

      We came to an understanding that it never hit us the minute we woke up, but rather weeks later that something had happened.
      Partly due to the fact that…we never saw ourselves as “that girl”…. But who put that thought into our minds? Who made it a shameful/weak thing to be “that girl”?

      There is no shame, but only power in speaking up, supporting others and putting a face to a name, and seeing just how much these things happen, and how usual it is that men groom women for the funniest things. I does NOT make you weak. You are strong.

      I am Didi, and I take my power back every f-cking day in the OPEN.

      Thank you Amy

  2. savu says:

    I love books like this that make you feel like you know someone and have a better picture of the world around you. This is the kind of stuff that helps someone who’s never seen abuse understand it better. And it helps when there’s comic relief! Because people (and life) are 3-dimensional.

    • Nikki says:

      I LOVE your comment Savu, thank you. Also loved the first comment on this topic. Readers here are very kind and supportive in general…

  3. Gadel says:

    I already finished her book. It is a great, quick read.

  4. BangersandMash says:

    It happens, it happens a lot…
    By that I mean, being dismissed as women. Especially in relationship to men.
    Men who are “passionate” and don’t intend to do harm (Johnny). Women who convince themselves that they are wrong, that they have to change, that they are selfish and non-understanding and thus deserve the treatment they get because it’s in service of love (Rihanna/Chris Brown).

    this happens A LOT.

    Until you understand that no man can make you are happy/loved as you can make yourself.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Totally endorse your first paragraph but have a problem with the statement that abuse happens because women don’t love themselves. Abuse happens because abusers make it happen, not because women don’t love themselves enough. Abusers undercut whatever amount of self-love women have when they enter the relationship, and that can vary quite a bit. All we know is that the abuser wants to diminish them, from whatever their starting point.

      Abuse isn’t the opposite of self-love and the creation of one’s own happiness. A lot of people don’t love themselves as much as they might but if they don’t get involved with an abusive person, abuse won’t happen.

  5. Locke Lamora says:

    Is the abusive boyfriend Anthony Jeselnik?
    I don’t really like her, but God, she’s been trough a lot. I wish her all the best.

  6. littlemissnaughty says:

    It just doesn’t end, it’s like nearly every woman alive has stories like this to tell. Goddamn it.

    I don’t understand, however, how she can then work with raging misogynists. Is everyone except me able to separate the work from the person???

    • Tinga says:

      She works with raging misogynists because its nearly impossible NOT to whatever industry you work in but particularly in STEM or Entertainment fields.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        No kidding, sadly.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        She’s at a point in her career where she doesn’t have to anymore. And there’s a difference between having an assh*le colleague or boss or creatively collaborating with one.

  7. Nikki says:

    Abuse where you are hit is terrible, but so also is emotional abuse, and it can be very difficult to know where to draw the line if your partner is “having a bad day” or is abusive, especially for a person whose self confidence has been ground down slowly. I had to go to therapy to help me decide if it was abuse. (It was.)

  8. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    Her section on the slut shaming questions she got during the Trainwreck press tour, and how she felt obligated to deal with them to keep the studio happy was depressing.

  9. HeyThere! says:

    I know I stand alone on my Amy Island, but I enjoy her. I like that she seems to just be herself. I was in a similar relationship in my early 20’s. I was so shocked at how a 1.5 year relationship just got crazy. Behind my back, he was buying prescription drugs from overseas, and would drink tons of vodka with them. When I found the pills, everything came together. The random rage, hate and total personality flip. He never hit me, but I also would lock myself in the bathroom until he would fall asleep. He was terrifying. He was wealthy and had a tracking device on the new The luxury car he gave me, moved me out of state with him almost immediately. Isolating me from all family and friends. Had me switch over to his phone user bought me a new phone turned out he was going through it and just had major issues with trust from his ex-wife. I was naïve having never experienced control or abuse in my life. It took me 6 months to plan my escape. Most family and friends still have zero idea what I went through. Because he was a charmer and wealthy as hell, he was a ‘catch’ to them. I took him into the homes of my family and friends that trusted me…and I found a stash of perscription drugs from MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS he stole from their homes. That is what I have the hardest time with. How did I not know this was happening?! He’s remarried to a lady now who had a ten(ish?)year old…I pray everyday he’s not up to his old tricks. I can’t imagine being a child in that situation. Anywho, it can and does happen to anyone. I will never forget it, but I try to keep it far back in my mind. I don’t think about it very much. I’m married to my high school sweetheart now with an adorable baby. I’m so grateful everyday I was able to get out. It all happened so quick.

  10. Miss B says:

    How interesting, considering she’s standing behind rape apologist Kurt Metzger and blocking accounts that call him out on Twitter:

  11. Beckysuz says:

    She’s right. It sneaks up on you. You start to justify insane insane behavior because he must love you to be so passionate. Before you know it you spend all your time apologizing for things you haven’t even done, trying to calm him down. Now you feel crazy, and start to believe maybe you are the problem, and if you just show him how much you love him, everything will be ok again. It never is, and the cycle continues. It can happen to anyone. I’m so grateful I got out, and so thankful I was able to break that cycle. Now I’m married to the greatest guy in the world, who I blew off years earlier while caught up in all the madness of an abusive relationship. I dated three different guys who abused me either physically or emotionally( or both). I had to be alone and get healthy to understand why I had allowed that and why I deserved so much more.

  12. Margo S. says:

    Sounds like a messed up childhood. Her mom sounds like an awful person! Poor husband gets diagnosed with MS and then she up and leaves him! Like fair enough if you fall out of love but don’t just leave him for another guy. Split up and give him the respect to not cheat. Ugh.

  13. MCraw says:

    I never cared for Amy Schumer. But reading that headline and reading that passage put a lot of pieces in place for me. I’m currently separated from my abusive husband, leaving just days ago. It’s been so long and I’ve tried so many times before to leave. I finally feel strong enough to do it now. Especially now that he’s not even faking the apology tour, it’s making it easier. But what she says here, strikes a painful, familiar cord with me. Idk what comes next, but I’m happy I read these words in this very dark and low time in my life.

    • lucy says:

      More strength and healing to you, MCraw. Congratulations on taking these important steps. I wish you, me, and all who have suffered abuse—or are still suffering—well.


    • Chris says:

      Good luck and godspeed.

      I did a similar thing in darker times. Little messages like this – someone else’s experience, stories in unexpected places – they kept me going too. Use whatever metaphor you want, but remember it’s ok to stand still for a while, or even fall down. You can still keep going. You’re doing a very brave thing and you got this no matter what.

    • Dhavynia says:

      I wish you the best, I believe a lot of us have been in similar situations, maybe more, maybe less severe but nevertheless relatable. My heart goes out to you, I don’t know who you are and what your situation is but you were strong enough to leave, you’ll be OK.

    • Beckysuz says:

      McCraw…so glad you got out. Hugs and blessings to you as you take this journey toward freedom and peace:)

    • MCraw says:

      Thank you all so much for your kind, supportive words. It really means the world to me.

  14. kanyekardashian says:

    I can’t with this woman. Not only is she extremely unfunny, she employs a rape apologist. For someone who claims to have been raped at 17, I find it fascinating and sad that she’s not only okay with having Kurt Metzger working for her, but also blocks women from Twitter who complain about it. She’s gross, and no feminist.

  15. SK says:

    I too lost my virginity at 17 when my boyfriend date raped me. I had known him since I was 5, he had chased me for a year, we had loads of friends in common… I just didn’t know how to cope with it afterwards. He had pinned me down and despite my objections and crying forced himself inside me (I had my period and a tampon in too). I clearly remember the moment in the bathroom afterwards when I decided it was all too much to deal with and supressed it – pushed it all down. I was so messed up over it that I continued to date him for about a month before ending it. It took six months for me to allow myself to face what had happened, another six before I told anyone else. 10 years before I told my mother (who had taught him as a child) – and in fact, I didn’t tell her, she guessed I’d been raped when I got upset during an argument with some male family friends over consent. We really need to do so much more work in teaching kids – particularly boys – fully and properly about consent.