Here’s Why Jaimee Foxworth Left ‘Family Matters’ After Four Seasons
Jaimee Foxworth’s disappearance from the hit ‘90s sitcom Family Matters is a tragic yet triumphant story.
She appeared as Judith "Judy" Winslow in the family show between 1989 and 1993, portraying one of the main characters.
But in the fourth season of the series, her character disappeared with no explanation as to why. Her last scene in the show was in the episode titled ‘Mama's Wedding,’ where she could be seen walking down the aisle as the flower girl.
Fans of Family Matters were and are still curious about the reason behind Foxworth’s (Judy’s) sudden exit from the show.
Why Jaimee Foxworth Left Family Matters
As the series went on, it started revolving more around Jaleel White’s character Steve Urkel.
The show producers thought that Foxworth’s character was unnecessary. Judy slowly became considered a background character with very few lines to speak.
And POOF! Without a supportive storyline for her disappearance, Judy was written out of the show.
In the rest of the series, the other characters on the show acted like she never existed. Even Judy’s parents, Carl and Harriette Winslow, acted as if they only had two kids: Eddie and Laura. No one ever mentioned Judy again.
The reason behind this eerie exit from the show came down to budget. Family Matters’ creator and writer William Bickley later stated she was cut during "budget consideration."
And it was tragic because they did it without a warning for the young actress who was just 13.
On September 28, 2017, when Entertainment Weekly published a Family Matters reunion photoshoot, Foxworth was not present.
Jaimee Foxworth shared a meme about her not being included in the 'Family Matters' reunion photoshoot. (Source: Instagram)
As reported by The Root, Foxworth said, “I was not invited at all. I wasn’t even contacted.”
On her sudden exit, she explained, "the producers felt they could do it and no one would notice. They figured no one would really care. My fans took notice of it."
She even noted some of her cast members knew about the layoff before she did. They fought for her to stay on. Despite that, the producers went through the decision.
Where Is Jaimee Foxworth Now?
At the end of season four, Foxworth knew things were different. She recalled her TV dad came up to her and complimented her for no reason.
She was not aware that her character was written off. Only after her mother explained did she find out the truth.
“It affected my self-esteem as an actress,” explained Foxworth. “And I started feeling like I wasn’t good at my job.”
Since her exit, Foxworth has had her fair share of uphill battles. She was out of the spotlight for years and later re-emerged in adult films.
At age 19, Foxworth admittedly indulged in adult films to put food on the table. However, even after leaving the adult film industry, she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.
In 2008, she appeared on Celebrity Rehab and said she weaned herself off drugs and alcohol.
But a turning point in her battle came when she found she was pregnant with her then-boyfriend Michael Shaw’s baby. The pregnancy prompted her to stop abusing drugs and alcohol.
And on May 29, 2009, she welcomed her son Michael Douglas Shaw, Jr.
When Foxworth appeared on Oprah: Where Are They Now (via HuffPost) in 2014, she said Shaw provided financial support for their family. It’s unclear how her relationship with Shaw has turned out over the years.
That being said, she is now a full-time mom, caring for and nurturing her only son who will become a teen at the end of May.
She often posts photos of her son on Instagram. When not busy with motherhood, she makes paid appearances at various events.