In her explosive memoir, Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, claims he made her watch him act inappropriately with her step mum, but insists he was just “awkward”
WE know him as the genius behind the iPhone, but to his daughter, Apple founder Steve Jobs was “mean”, “awkward” and even simulated sex acts in front of her.
Now, seven years after his death, Lisa Brennan-Jobs has offered a biting take on her life with the Apple guru, revealing some disturbing moments which soured the pair’s strained relationship.
Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, is offering a brutal broadside against her cold and miserly father in her memoir
In her upcoming memoir, Small Fry, Lisa tells of her father’s inappropriate behaviour towards her stepmother, businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs, in front of her.
An excerpt in the New York Times reveals that Lisa still remembers one day when Jobs embraced his second wife, “pulling her in to a kiss, moving his hand closer to her breasts,” and up her thigh, “moaning theatrically.”
When his daughter went to leave the room, Jobs stopped her.
“‘Hey Lis,’ he said. ‘Stay here. We’re having a family moment. It’s important that you try to be part of this family.’”
Lisa writes: “I sat still, looking away as he moaned and undulated.”
Steve Jobs allegedly acted inappropriately around Lisa with his second wife, Laurene
Jobs teased his nine-year-old daughter about sex
According to Lisa, Jobs was never threatening – just “awkward”.
But her mother, Chrisann Brennan, had previously written about an upsetting, sexual conversation between Jobs and his daughter in her own memoir, The Bite In The Apple.
She writes that, one evening, she left Jobs to babysit nine-year-old Lisa, but she came home early to find him “teasing her nonstop about her sexual aspirations.”
A concerned Chrisann writes that he was: “ridiculing her with sexual innuendos,” and “joking about bedroom antics between Lisa and this or that guy.”
Chrisann Brennan, Lisa’s mother, was concerned to find Jobs ridiculing and teasing a nine-year-old Lisa about sex
Chrisann says that she was scared for her daughter, but adds: “I will be clear, Steve was not a sexual predator of children.
“There was something else going on.
“He was so inappropriate because he didn’t know how to do better.”
Even so, after that she started making sure there was a “chaperone” when Jobs was with Lisa for long hours, according to the New York Times.
Statement from Ms. Powell Jobs, her children and Mr. Jobs’s sister, Mona Simpson
“Lisa is part of our family, so it was with sadness that we read her book, which differs dramatically from our memories of those times.
The portrayal of Steve is not the husband and father we knew. Steve loved Lisa, and he regretted that he was not the father he should have been during her early childhood.
It was a great comfort to Steve to have Lisa home with all of us during the last days of his life, and we are all grateful for the years we spent together as a family.”
Lisa is biting back against her father’s god-like legacy as a tech giant
Dying Jobs told Lisa she ‘smelled like a toilet’
These complaints are far from the only charges levelled at Jobs’ legacy.
He has often been shown to be tight with money, despite amassing a £7.8billion net worth at the time of his death, and Lisa says that he even refused to pay for heating in her bedroom.
In an extract of the book published in Vanity Fair, Lisa describes her father as a man who was “not generous with money, or food, or words”.
Even as he lay dying of pancreatic cancer and Lisa came to visit him, Jobs couldn’t resist telling his daughter: “You smell like a toilet.”
Lisa writes about a day in New York in 1980 when she, aged three, met Jobs for the second time ever.
By this point, Jobs had grudgingly accepted that he really was her dad, after years of falsely – and publicly – claiming that it was impossible.
When the court finally ordered him to cough up, Jobs started paying $500 a month in child support.
That’s the equivalent of $1,500 in today’s money, but it was nothing for the man who was making millions with Apple.
Before then, Lisa’s mum Chrisann Brennan was struggling to get by and had to work two jobs as a waitress and a cleaner.
The unheated flat she lived in was so cold that Lisa used to sleep wearing a coat.
Lisa writes that she had a bizarre encounter with Jobs in that freezing flat, not long after he accepted she was his.
Even when he was making millions with Apple, Steve Jobs was tight when it came to spending on his family
“You know who I am?” the arrogant businessman asked Lisa, introducing himself properly for the first time.
“I’m your father. I’m one of the most important people you will ever know.”
Soon after this encounter, Jobs apologised for everything and eventually increased his financial support to $4,000 a month – around $12,000 in today’s money.
But even after becoming a regular fixture in Lisa’s life, Jobs’ relationship with his daughter remained fraught.
Lisa had a fraught relationship with her businessman father
‘You’re not getting anything’
Lisa remembers another conversation she had with her dad when she was seven which illustrated just how stingy the tech genius was.
By then, Lisa and her skint mother had moved house 13 times, sometimes crashing on friends’ sofas when they had nowhere else to go.
Her dad would drive over once a month to visit in a convertible Porsche, and Lisa remembers asking him whether she would inherit his car one day, when he was done with it.
Jobs was furious. “You’re not getting anything,” he snarled. “You understand? Nothing. You’re getting nothing.”
Jobs told Lisa she’s ‘getting nothing’ when she asked about getting his car once he was finished with it
The fight for Jobs’ legacy
Tech geeks around the world – along with Jobs’ second wife and his friends from Apple – have elevated his achievements to god-like levels.
But Lisa’s unflattering memoir reveals the anger of a neglected daughter who is still furious that her father is still held in such high esteem despite the way he treated his family.
Her mother Chrisann, a painter, has described Jobs as “cruel” and said it was “like pulling teeth” whenever she had to get more money out of him for Lisa’s upbringing.
Chrisann and Steve met when they were 17, both hippies studying at the same high school.
She fell pregnant at 18, and they both agreed she should have an abortion, although they continued an on-off relationship for four more years after that.
But when she fell pregnant again in 1978, Chrisann kept the baby – and the relationship ended forever.
Lisa, now 40, writes that Jobs was there when she was born on a commune in Oregon, although he was still denying at the time that she was even his.
Jobs helped to choose Lisa’s name and then left, but deep down the mathematician must have known that Lisa’s black hair and prominent nose – features the two shared – couldn’t be down to chance.
Jobs’ second wife, Laurene, inherited the majority of his multi-billion dollar fortune
Bono exposed his Lisa lies
At the time, Jobs’ energy was focused on another Lisa – the early Apple computer he named, which would eventually evolve into a Macintosh.
As Lisa grew up, she reassured herself that the name of Jobs’ prototype computer was proof that her cold dad really cared about her despite his snappy temper and critical outbursts.
By the time Lisa was in high school, Lisa was splitting her time between both her parents’ houses.
“Hey, you know that computer, the Lisa? Was it named after me?” she asked one day.
But his response was “clipped” and “dismissive.”
“Nope,” he simply said. “Sorry, kid.” It seemed like the real apple of his eye was, well… Apple.
Lisa was 27 when Jobs finally admitted that he named his creation with her in mind.
The pair were on holiday in the South of France, where Jobs met up with his friend Bono, who put him on the spot and asked where the name came from.
Lisa writes: “Of course it was named after me, I thought then. His lie seemed preposterous now.”
Jobs loosened up as Lisa got older. To make up for his earlier stinginess, he bought her a $400,000 house and two cars.
But it was his second wife, and the three children he had with her, who the bulk of Jobs’ money went to after he died.
Business executive Laurene Powell Jobs, 54, and her children are now estimated to be worth £16.8 billion, while Lisa received an undisclosed settlement in his will which is thought to run to multiple millions of dollars.
And for all his skills as an inventor and businessman, it’s clear that the Apple founder is far from the perfect dad.
“For a long time, I hoped that if I played the beloved daughter, he would be the indulgent father,” Lisa writes.
“If I had admitted to myself what I saw, I would have known that he would not do this.”