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Steve Jobs' longtime girlfriend reflects on their 'hot and cold' relationship in new memoir

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Steve Jobs 1990 interview
Steve Jobs 1990 interview

Chrisann Brennan, who for years was the girlfriend of Steve Jobs (and mother to his first child Lisa), is preparing to release a memoir recounting her time spent with the late Apple co-founder. The New York Post has today posted an excerpt of The Bite in the Apple: a Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs, revealing an intimate and at times troubling portrait of Jobs as his company morphed from a garage project into a legitimate technology titan. Rather than focus on Apple, Brennan instead traces the evolution of Jobs' personality. "Steve often said that he had a strong sense of having had a past life as a World War II pilot," she writes. "But that’s not how I pictured him in 1977. Apple was taking off and Steve wasn’t in an airplane, he was in a rocket ship blasting out beyond the atmosphere of what anyone imagined possible. And he was changing."

"Excellence had always been a gorgeous thing in Steve, but now he was using it like a weapon."

According to Brennan, she and Jobs shared something of a "hot and cold" relationship. "We were completely crazy about each other and utterly bored in turns," she says. "We shared nice dinners and some beautiful evenings, but we could barely sustain a sense of emotional intimacy, much less build on it." Brennan writes of late-night discussions on spirituality — inspired by Jobs' close relationship with Japanese Zen master Kobun Chino Otogawa. But Brennan would grow uncomfortable with Steve Jobs as her "spiritual adviser," and she also took issue with his growing and often "vicious" ego. There came a point, says Brennan, when Jobs could no longer be bothered with everyday chores like cleaning dishes. "As Apple grew, so did Steve’s sense of self-entitlement; in parallel they both seemed to take on lives of their own.

"Excellence had always been a gorgeous thing in Steve, but now he was using it like a weapon," writes Brennan. "Though I would try to adapt to the change, it all soon outweighed his value to me." Jobs would for years deny that he was the father of Lisa Brennan Jobs, though he ultimately went on to forge a loving relationship with his daughter. The excerpt also suggests that Brennan and Jobs eventually made peace with one another despite the abrupt end of their relationship. Fifteen years after they parted ways, Brennan says that Jobs called her to thank her for the intimate times they shared together. "His timing had always been so particular."