Pop Culture

Get this straight: Gay ex was real inspiration for new Fran Drescher show

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade; when life handed Fran Drescher a gay husband, she made a sitcom: "Happily Divorced."

"My marriage to Peter Jacobson, turns out that he's gay now," she told TODAY's Matt Lauer, laughing. She explained that while they were married he was in therapy and discovered he was bisexual; Drescher said she felt "suffocated" in the relationship and they ended up splitting. Lauer pointed out that Jacobson didn't come out as gay until two years after their marriage was over.

"(He) wanted to stay married and actually was very opposed to the divorce," she said.

The pair have remained friends, and now even work together on "Happily Divorced" (Jacobson is an executive producer like Drescher, who also stars) which pulls directly from their shared marriage experience -- after 18 years together, a woman discovers her husband is gay. But as with her hit "The Nanny," Drescher says she only wants to do stories that have a basis in real life: "I always write about what I know. ... Whatever story we break, sort of begins with something that's real and authentic. Even amongst my writers I say 'Don't pitch ideas unless it happened to you, or your friend or your relative.' Otherwise it feels made up to me."

These days, Drescher says "after a lot of experience" she's come up with the "5 S's" of finding the right next guy: "Sexy, smart, successful, single ... and straight."

But that doesn't mean Drescher is uninvolved in the lives of gays: On Tuesday, she will be officiating at the New York City marriage of a gay couple, as a Universal Life Church Monastery ordination.

Will you watch the new show? Tell us on Facebook.

Related content: