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Crime News Crimes Of The '90s

Who Are Jerome Jacobson's Ex-Wives — And What Do They Think Of Him After 'McMillion$'?

"Let's put it this way: It went from worse to unbearable," one of Jerome Jacobson's ex-wives, Daryl Tolbert, said on "McMillion$."

By Connor Mannion
Marsha Derbyshire Hbo

One thing that may shock audiences watching "McMillion$" on HBO is how the mastermind of the McDonald's Monopoly scheme had a succession of different wives — some of whom detested Jerome Jacobson enough to participate in the documentary.

It isn't clear how many times Jacobson, the man who defrauded McDonald's out of tens of millions of dollars by rigging its Monopoly game promotion in the late '90s, has been married until the latter half of the docu-series when his ex-wife Marsha Derbyshire, a frequent talking head in the series, lists off how many times Jerome has been married.

Derbyshire, who is Jacobson's fourth wife, claimed Jacobson has been married six times.

"I think we counted seven," Derbyshire said, listing the names of various women Jacobson married. "He's been married six times and if he's been married with that marriage license down in Miami, it's seven."

Attempts to reach Derbyshire for further comment were not successful.

A review of public records by Oxygen.com indicates that Jacobson has filed for marriage twice and filed for divorce twice — all with different women — in the state of Georgia, where he resides with his current wife Linda, who is mentioned in the 2018 Daily Beast article that inspired the series.

Two of Jacobson's former wives who sat for an interview in "McMillion$" do not think highly of their ex-husband, to say the least — and neither does his son Jared Jacobson (whose mother is not Derbyshire). Jared appears in the latter half of the docu-series and muses that his very participation in the documentary has likely destroyed his relationship with his father.

When asked if his mother was Jerome Jacobson's first or second wife, Jared shrugged to indicate he didn't know that answer.

"I knew he kept secrets from me: Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies," Derbyshire said about Jacobson. "Jerry was always trying to figure out how to get a free lunch."

Derbyshire alleged in the documentary that the reason she split with Jacobson was because he was abusive toward her children — even threateningly explaining how he would find a way to shoot her without the evidence pointing back to him, she said.

In a deleted scene included in "The McMillion$ Podcast" (hosted by directors Brian Lazarte and James Lee Hernandez) Derbyshire also claimed that Jacobson lied about a wrist injury in order to falsely claim disability. "It was just a regular wrist break, didn't cause any of those other things he said it caused."

"Jerry had a way about him: you're either going to love him or you're going to hate him," Derbyshire said in the series. "And he could snap in a millisecond."

Audio from another deleted scene included the podcast's fifth episode shows Jared reminiscing to the filmmakers about how his father sold him on a homemade barbecue sauce recipe — only to later learn that the so-called secret sauce was just off-the-counter Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce from a bottle, as recounted in the podcast.

"It's just like, 'Really?' And this was probably just a few years ago ... you know obviously after the aftermath of everything, and you're still lying about Sweet Baby Ray's sauce," Jared recalled while laughing in the deleted scene. "So the lies continue for no reason."

Jacobson's third wife, Daryl Tolbert (the only interview in the docu-series conducted over the phone), is similarly unsparing in her assessment of Jacobson as egotistical.

"Lets put it this way: It went from worse to unbearable," Tolbert said. "He never felt worthy of much. He was raised without money and he felt like he played second fiddle to Marvin [Braun]."

"Sometime in his life he decided, 'I want what all these other people have. He wanted people to look up at him for prestige, for all the money he had in the bank so he could suppress all the negative feelings. And he achieved what he wanted to, he had money, he had status, he had everything. But then paid dearly for it. And he may be remorseful, but he may think, 'Well, I did have it once,'" Tolbert concluded as the series recounts how authorities were able to bring him to justice.

Following his release from prison, Jacobson currently lives in the Atlanta area with his seventh wife, Linda, and is in declining health, according to the Daily Beast. He did not participate in "McMillion$" for an interview.

The most recent phone number associated with Jacobson has apparently been disconnected, Oxygen.com found.

Jacobson's associate Andrew "AJ" Glomb, whom Jacobson worked with among others to perpetuate his fraud, told the documentary that Jacobson is not interested in talking about the case and wants to put it behind him. 

However, Glomb told the filmmakers in a follow-up interview on the podcast that Jacobson never really wanted to discuss his personal life with him in their interactions and they had a business-like relationship. "He was very fair with me," Glomb said.

The final episode of "McMillion$" aired Monday, March 9 at 10 p.m. ET. It is available to stream on HBO's digital platforms.