Jessica Chastain’s Estranged Father Dies, Memorial Service Before Oscars
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain may have a bright future, but her past is pretty dark.
According to the New York Daily News, her biological father, Michael Monasterio, 55, died on February 5 and his memorial service was Saturday — the day before the Oscars — in Sacramento, CA. Jessica didn't attend the service and she has reportedly not kept in contact with him or his side of the family.
The Zero Dark Thirty actress — who keeps her private life very private — has said she had a “down-to-earth” childhood in northern California with her vegan chef mother, Jerri Chastain, and firefighter stepdad Michael Hastey. According to the Daily News, Jessica's mother was a 16-year-old high-school student when she gave birth to the future actress in 1977. Jessica's sister Juliet was born the next year but, tragically, Juliet committed suicide in 2003 at age 24.
Jessica's father previously wrote on his Facebook page that Jessica's mother left him and moved to a new location with his two young daughters. She changed her name so he couldn’t find them, he told people. But a source close to Jessica said that's not true. “Everything on his Facebook is incorrect. [Jessica’s mother] never left Sacramento. He never paid child support. He chose not to have contact with Jessica and her family. They lived in the same city her entire life."
It’s sad that Jessica and her father never found a way to reconnect before his death, but it sounds like he wasn’t a big part of her life. Their paths were apart for so long, maybe they wouldn’t even know where to begin.