We already know that behind every great woman is a fabulous gay man. As a bonus, sometimes he gets paid to be there. E! News host Giuliana Rancic's assistant for the past three years, 27-year-old Matt Jacobi now appears alongside her and her husband, The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic, on the reality series Giuliana & Bill, which airs Wednesday nights on the Style Network and was recently renewed for a second season. Minutes after dropping off Giuliana at work, Jacobi explains why gay hubbies like him will never go out of style — no matter what Chelsea Handler says.
Advocate.com: Let's start from the beginning. How did you become Giuliana's assistant?
Matt Jacobi: I was born in Philadelphia, but I went to high school in Arizona and studied communications at Arizona State University. I worked in hard news at the ABC affiliate in Phoenix right out of college. I'd go to work every day, knock on people's doors, and ask them about their house burning down or skyrocketing gas prices, but all I really cared about was Britney Spears, Madonna, and what was happening in the entertainment world. So I packed a U-Haul and moved to California with $500 to my name. In the meantime, I was sending my résumé to E! in crazy envelopes written with big, girly, fifth-grader bubble letters. I got in as the assistant to the executive producer of E! News, and Giuliana's office was right in front of my cubicle. We started talking, became friends, and — long story short — we made the jump. I worked my butt off to impress her, and the next thing I knew I was flying to Capri, Italy, to plan her wedding.
Have you pinpointed the root of your obsession with celebrity culture?
I'm from a big Italian family — I'm one of four kids — and my dad used to take us all to the movies every weekend. We'd also watch a lot of TV together. I've always loved celebrities.
Gay celebrity assistants have come into the spotlight recently with Brad Goreski on The Rachel Zoe Project and Paula Deen's assistant Brandon boozing it up on Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List. Are gay celebrity assistants the new black?
They are a must-have. Anyone out there looking for an assistant, whether you're in entertainment or in a law firm, get a gay one! We're the hardest workers, the most blunt, and the most fun. We're it. But I don't actually consider myself a gay assistant; I consider myself the gay husband.
What does that position entail?
Not only am I planning out Giuliana's and Bill's lives, I'm their everything, really — we're best friends, we give each other advice, and, in a way, I feel like they're my parents. We don't have a typical assistant relationship.