NEW YORK – Former Los Angeles Rams cheerleader and actress Shauna Mayer sat down with FOX411 to discuss her tumultuous marriage to “Dukes of Hazzard” actor Chip Mayer, and the lengths a woman must go to keep her shirt on in Hollywood.
“When I met Chip, I had never been around anyone who had drank [sic] or did drugs and I wasn't interested in either one of those,” Mayer told FOX411. “I thought it was just recreation and I constantly encouraged him to stop and he would always tell me it was the last time, and I had no reason to believe it wasn't going to be the last time, but it never turned out that way.”
Mayer’s ex-husband, the now deceased Christopher “Chip” Mayer, played Vance Duke on the 80s classic “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Even during the prime of his career, Shauna Mayer said her ex struggled with alcohol and substance abuse.
“I eventually said if you don't clean up your act, I'm going to leave,” Mayer recalled. “He cleaned up his act and I took him to church and he got saved…and fell crazy in love with Jesus and we began to serve Jesus together and it was really a wonderful thing to happen.”
But Mayer didn’t stay clean for long, and his wife decided to leave him after 20 years of marriage.
“I stayed [with Chip] because I loved God and I made a commitment to God when I entered into marriage with my husband and I really believed that Chip would finally be delivered and set free from all of the bondages and I wanted to be the conduit to that to stay and pray and believe that he would get healed and delivered.”
Mayer said her rocky marriage wasn’t the only cross she had to bear in Hollywood. When she first moved to California, she quickly landed her first leading role, only to turn it down when she discovered the part required her to take off her shirt.
“When I first moved here…I got the lead in a movie and I was very excited about ,” she said. “I started reading the script and… I realized the lead in the film, was supposed to go a park with a bunch of her friends and slide down the slide while ripping off my clothes and my top and I was absolutely appalled.”
Mayer, now a minister, returned the script to the director as removing her top went against her Christian beliefs.
“There are certain body parts called ‘private parts’ and I want to keep those private parts, not public parts. [But the director] took the script from me and he said, ‘Don't worry little lady, I've got girls standing in line to take off their clothes for me.’ I just remember thinking, I think I'm in the wrong business.”
With the rise of faith-based films and television shows, Mayer does see hope for Hollywood.
“I see that Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and Kevin Sorbo, that there are individuals that have character and are being raised up in Hollywood to say that there's more to life than this [and] God wants us to give back. Money's only going to make you so happy.”
Faith & Fame is a regular column exploring how a strong belief system helps some performers navigate the pitfalls of the entertainment industry.
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.