Buff, blonde, and tan, Jackie Warner looks like the quintessential California girl. This Ohio native is the star of Bravo's new summer series Work Out, a Blow Out-style docudrama that explores the hard bodies and beautiful faces of Sky Sport and Spa, the exclusive fitness facility Warner, 37, owns and operates on a rooftop in Beverly Hills. But the cameras don't stop at the gym's doors–they also follow Jackie's relationship with girlfriend Mimi.
Jackie and Mimi have been together for nearly four years. Though they don't cohabitate, Mimi is clearly comfortable spending time with Jackie and her dogs at Warner's secluded home.
Work Out portrays Mimi as a fiery, quick-tempered, jealous woman with a penchant for biting, but it also displays the passion and playfulness in their relationship. Warner feels it was a pretty accurate portrayal. “There were misunderstandings and lots of push and pull between us at the time, and that comes across.”
Without the presence of the cameras she says that things have mellowed out some, and there is less stress. Jackie still works hard, though, spending long hours in her office catching up on her business.
Jackie Warner left Ohio at eighteen and moved to Los Angeles. In the first episode of Work Out, she describes herself as a “small-town girl from mid-America who came to seek her fortune.” But that's only part of the story. “It was suffocating being a lesbian in Ohio in the eighties,” she tells us. “I graduated in 1986, and people didn't have a clue about gay issues back then. I wasn't able to be out.” She credits MTV, and especially Madonna, for helping to educate people about lesbians and gays.
“My little brother is ten years younger than me, and I asked him if he had gay kids in his high school,” Warner says. “He said yes, like it was no big deal. I asked if they got hassled, and he said no. Back when I was in high school, gay kids would have been beaten up–well, not me, but definitely the guys.”
Clearly being strong and fit is not new to Warner. A lifelong athlete, she competed in equestrian events as a child and played both softball and soccer in school. She still participates in both when she has time, especially as a goalie in soccer. Today she also enjoys tennis and boxing. And though she hasn't yet taken her Harley Sportster for a ride in a pride parade, no doubt she'll have plenty of invitations to do so next year.
Her mother probably won't be riding with her, though. She has a difficult time with Jackie's lesbianism, which Work Out captured on camera during one of Mom's visits from Ohio. Fortunately Warner's grandfather, who knew before he passed away, was very accepting of Jackie. And her younger brother is also supportive. “He's a right-wing Christian but younger and more accepting, so he's fine with it,” Warner relates. “He never judges me and is very accepting of people in general.” No one else in her extended family knows that Jackie is gay, however, and she suspects they wouldn't watch her show on Bravo.