Jim Carrey has opened up about his little-known pre-fame romance with singer Linda Ronstadt, 15 years his senior.
Carrey's in a reflective mood as he goes on the publicity trail for his new "semi-autobiographical novel", Memoirs and Misinformation.
The book comes with a somewhat confusing disclaimer – "None of this is real and all of it is true" – and is billed by the publisher as a "fearless and semi-autobiographical deconstruction of persona".
Inside, Carrey reportedly offers up insight into several of his past relationships.
Carrey and Ronstadt dated for eight months in 1983 when Carrey was a 21-year-old aspiring comedian and Ronstadt, 36, had been a household name for a decade.
"Linda Ronstadt has a special place in the book because, you know, it may have seemed like some … boy-toy kind of situation to some people looking at it from the outside but she treated me with incredible respect. She loved my talent and respected my talent – we'd hang out and she'd say, 'You're going to be where I am. You're going to deal with all the stuff I've dealt with'."
Carrey opened up about the night they met at a comedy club where he was performing and Ronstadt was searching for a comic to open her next tour.
"I don't know what I was thinking, I was in 21-year-old Mac Daddy mode, but I immediately adored her. She said, 'Wow, you're really good, would you like to come on the road with me?' I said, 'No, but I'll go out with you.' Without a thought. I was giving up a gig which I needed – I had no money! She kind of screwed up her face and said: ' … OK!'"
Twenty years after their split, Carrey still holds a candle for his ex-fiance Renée Zellweger, who he says was the "great love of my life".
The pair started dating when they worked on the black comedy Me, Myself and Irene together in 1999. They broke off their engagement in December 2000.
In a candid chat with radio host Howard Stern, Carrey said that Zellweger "definitely was special to me, very special. I think she's lovely".
Stern asked Carrey if he had any regrets about the relationship not lasting.
"I don't regret — I don't have those things. But I do appreciate the people that have come through my life for the good that they gave me … but I don't pine for anybody. It's not that kind of situation. It's just my way of saying, 'There was a very important thing there,' and to recognise that."