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But within a few episodes, Jenny Kush had become the real star of the show. "SexPot really encompassed Jenny's view on life," Georgia explains. "You shouldn't be nervous or embarrassed to talk about being a human being. In fact, there are ways to be a human being that make you happier and more satisfied in all aspects of your life. Sex happens to be one of them. It makes for great radio to talk about crazy things, but Jenny did it in a way that also educated people. It wasn't just a show about sex. It wasn't a show to shock people. It was a show to entertain and educate.

"Yes, she had this outward personality of having fun hair colors and those kinds of things, but Jenny was an open book, and people knew what she liked," Georgia continues. "And people cared, and she cared to tell them. It became crystal clear that she was such an authentic person that people — whether they knew her from the radio or knew her personally or whether they knew her from Facebook — they knew her."

*********

Rebecca Maez shouldn't have been on the road on September 1: Her license had been revoked for a drunk-driving-related arrest in Edgewater less than four years earlier. In December 2009, Edgewater cops pulled over Maez for doing 65 mph in a 35 mph zone on Sheridan Boulevard. There were three empty vodka bottles scattered around the 1993 Suburban she was driving, and she had booze on her breath.

According to police records, Maez practically fell out of her vehicle when officers asked her to perform a sobriety test, passed out in the back of the cruiser on the way to the Edgewater police station, then began screaming that she had done nothing wrong while she thrashed around in the holding cell; she was eventually shackled to a bench in the cell. Maez was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both, and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked driver's license because of an unpaid ticket. She was convicted of drunk driving, failed to complete her probation — and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

In 2010, Maez was arrested again after she was stopped in Denver for driving without a license and gave the police a false name, Stephanie Ortiz. She failed to appear at her arraignment that September, and another warrant for her arrest was issued. In April 2012, Maez was jailed in Denver on her failure-to-appear charge; she was still technically a fugitive in Jefferson County.

None of that deterred Maez from driving once she got out of jail. She was behind the wheel of a borrowed Chrysler sedan on Labor Day weekend.

*********

Even Jeremy DePinto can't pinpoint the first time he met Kush, but he's sure it was love at first sight for both of them — though they were too shy to do anything about it right away. He tried to avoid her, DePinto says, but failed. The two started hanging out more and more, bonding over their mutual interest in art, tattooing and cannabis.

One day in September 2010 — neither of them could remember precisely which day, and it didn't really matter — DePinto left Kush after visiting her apartment, then found himself chain-smoking cigarettes in his parked car while he debated whether to go back up the steps and climb into a relationship. "I sat in my car for a good long while, and I remember thinking, 'That's it.' And I went back up and knocked on the door, and she ripped the door open and jumped on me. And that was it."

Aside from the obvious physical attraction between the two, DePinto says he fell in love with many of the things about Kush that drew others to her. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind about major issues, whether it was cannabis rights, Occupy Wall Street or sexual freedom, and he appreciated that. They worked together on the same causes.

"We considered ourselves to be teammates," DePinto says. "Neither was more important, but that allowed us to both be more important. It sounds strange, like turning right to go left. But once you get it, it makes perfect sense."

By that November, DePinto and Kush were inseparable. They decided to take a trip up to Montana to visit Kush's family and friends. While they were in Big Sky Country, an old acquaintance of Kush's called, said she'd heard she was in town and asked Kush if she could find her an eighth-ounce of herb. While medical marijuana is legal in Montana, recreational marijuana is not — but Kush certainly didn't feel it was a crime to help someone in need. She drove over to give the girl some ganja — only to be arrested by undercover cops who'd set up the sting.

Kush went to jail until DePinto was able to bond her out. Finding humor in the situation, Kush joked that the two were legally bonded and that getting married would have been a much easier way of going about that, DePinto remembers. In lieu of jail time, Kush was given five years' probation and allowed to return to Colorado.

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9 comments
patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editortopcommenter

we'd like to publish some of the comments about this story in our print edition -- ideally with your full name/town. If that's okay, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com.

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

If you read the article, the problem besides the drunk driver. is the way the on/off ramp is set up and despite other deaths CDOT (co. dept of transp.) has done NOTHING. You see here in Colorado, one death is a blip.

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

The govt doesn't care except to get its grubby hands and any and all money

opusthepoet
opusthepoet

I never met Jenny, but I know others who were victims of drunk drivers and have been a victim of a presumed drunk driver myself. So can I say I have a passionate doubleplus unlove for drunk drivers? Seriously I think that drunk drivers should get one chance to get their $&*% together and drive responsibly, second offense is mandatory loss of the motor vehicle, with the vehicle recycled in front of the driver if someone was injured, or recycled with the driver behind the wheel if someone was killed.


And that is how doubleplus unlove I am for drunk drivers.

COmidnightrider
COmidnightrider

RIP JENNY KUSH

Good Article(a rarity in Westword) William Breathes

As I rode the HOV Lane with Thoughts of the accident in mind, it was easily apparent that the Culprit, Besides "The unamed Drunk", turned from 70th. If CDOT refuses to make changes to their existing offering, They SHOULD AT VERY LEAST put up a 'Flip Sign' that would alert drivers as they are entering the WRONG WAY. I DO NOT Think this is too much to ask CDOT to do in light of Three serious accidents. Jeremy is an Amazing Spirit, and I wish him Much ONE LOVE healing energy.

Bret Egan
Bret Egan

Besides being a victim of a drunk driver, government also failed Jenny Kush,

rockiesfever
rockiesfever

I just want to say thank you to the Westword for making this a cover story. I didnt know this girl, but the story has haunted me since i first read it. (see my comment on that first Westword coverage story) I can tell by her pictures, and what friends have said about her that she was a life loving person who deserved to live. I dont smoke weed. nor do I drink,  But I do agree it is unbelievable alcohol is legal and weed is not. And when I read yet another story of some selfish, stupid fucking  drunk stealing time in this earth from another innocent person cause they decided to selfishly drive after glutinously stuffing themselves of booze, It makes me want to go to a bar just to beat some drunk fucks ass.  I hope this chick responsible gets life. But she probably wont. She will probably be out of jail inside of the next ten years. Meanwhile, theres a drug dealer somewhere in the us being sentenced to 25 years. This bitch will be taking shots again decades before the drug dealer gets out......

RIP Young Lady. Jenny. Your cause is served as well by your death as your life and hopefully, maybe that will make it make some sense

ThinkFastTalkSlow
ThinkFastTalkSlow

Billy Breathes....this is beautifully written, and an amazing tribute. You captured her achievements as both an activist AND a person. That's what everyone loved about Jenny: she was the most genuine person you ever met.

In a community where we are always fighting for something: a cause, a law, a business, an ego.....Jenny was a beacon of positivity and she shared that light with everyone.

My favorite quote from the piece was from Jeremy, "She always said that if everyone would care about everybody else, you wouldn't have to worry about yourself, because someone would automatically be caring for you."

That's Jenny. And somewhere out there she is smiling. 

 Thank you. 

 
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