Jenny McCarthy’s son Evan is now 21 years old
Jenny McCarthy's son Asher is all grown up!
The actress welcomed her only child, son Evan Joseph Asher, on May 18, 2002, with her ex-husband, John Asher. The pair split in 2005, and she married Donnie Wahlberg, who became Evan's devoted stepfather. McCarthy is also a stepmom to the New Kids on the Block member's two sons from a previous relationship.
In 2007, McCarthy revealed that Evan had been diagnosed with autism when he was around 3 years old. Since then, she's been vocal about her son's diagnosis and even wrote a book about her experience raising a son with autism titled Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism.
"I know why God gave me Evan. He is a wonderful teacher and an inspiration to the world," she said during a 2008 appearance on Oprah. "It made me who I am today."
Now 21 years old, Evan is an aspiring writer, filmmaker, gamer and content creator — and even released an original song in February 2023.
"Evan has been through so much in his young life, and his passion for living and creating is such an inspiration to me," McCarthy told PEOPLE of her son in 2023. "He is the kindest, sweetest, most loving human being on this planet, and I'm excited for what the future holds for him."
Here's everything to know about Jenny McCarthy's son, Evan.
He was diagnosed with autism at a young age
When he was 2½, Evan started having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. He was given anti-seizure medication, but McCarthy was still worried. In 2005, she took her son to a neurologist for a second opinion. There, he was diagnosed with autism.
"I felt each membrane and vein in my heart shattering into a million pieces," she wrote in her 2007 book, Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism.
After that, McCarthy started researching the disorder to find ways to support her son, including behavioral therapy and dietary changes. She's also shared her controversial views regarding autism and vaccines. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no scientific link between vaccines and autism.
His parents split when he was 3
McCarthy and Evan's father, director John Asher, got divorced in 2005. At the time, Evan was just 3 years old, and the couple had been married for 6 years.
During her 2008 interview with Oprah, McCarthy shared that Evan's autism diagnosis took a toll on their relationship, saying, "I felt very alone in my marriage."
She described how they had different ways of handling the diagnosis, adding, "He never sat down and said, 'What did you find out on Google?' There was never that connection of wanting to know and being there."
His mom has written several books about him
The birth of her son inspired McCarthy to expand her career, publishing Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth in 2004. The following year, she published a second book, Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood.
In 2007, she wrote about Evan's autism diagnosis in Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism, which she hoped would help other moms cope with their children's autism diagnoses.
His stepdad is Donnie Wahlberg
After her divorce, McCarthy dated Jim Carrey for five years before ultimately calling it quits in 2010. Then, in July of 2013, she started a new relationship with Donnie Wahlberg. Less than a year later, they were engaged, and on Aug. 31, 2014, the couple got married in St. Charles, Illinois.
"I knew who I was marrying, but what was surprising to me was how much Evan appreciated it and loved it so much," she told PEOPLE at the time, adding of Evan: "I think Donnie coming in, he had a sense of security that he'd never seen before."
In May of 2022, Wahlberg shared a sweet birthday message for Evan on Instagram, writing: "Happy 20th Birthday to my awesome step son! Hope you have the happiest day ever, Evan. 🎂🎉🎈."
Wahlberg also has two sons, Xavier Alexander and Elijah Hendrix, whom he shares with ex-wife Kimberly Fey.
He played a big part in his mom's wedding
When McCarthy and Wahlberg said "I do," Evan, then age 12, was the one to give her away. "He put out his little arm, and we walked down the aisle," McCarthy told PEOPLE about the special moment.
Following the ceremony, Evan also gave an unplanned toast at the reception. "He was like, 'I love my stepdad, I'm so glad for my mom, we're going to make a great family,' " McCarthy shared before adding, "And it was really beautiful."
He's lived in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles
While Evan was born in Los Angeles, he lived in Chicago for most of his high school years. McCarthy and Wahlberg moved their family to Illinois following their wedding — despite commuting to New York City and L.A for work.
"It's one of the biggest questions I get: 'How the heck do you guys make this happen?' " McCarthy told PEOPLE in 2019. "From Friday to Monday, we get to be here with the kids. And then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we work and stay in New York. We get that one-on-one time as a couple there, and then we have our family time in St. Charles."
According to Evan's Instagram bio, however, he now lives in L.A.
He graduated high school in 2021
In May 2021, Evan marked a major milestone and graduated from high school. Both McCarthy and Wahlberg posted tributes to the new grad in honor of the occasion.
For hers, the proud mom shared a montage of photos from Evan's childhood, as well as a series of pictures and videos from his graduation ceremony. "Congratulations to my son @evanjasher. I’m so proud of you. You worked so hard and are such a bright light in this world. ❤️U!! #graduation #classof2021," she wrote in the caption.
The Blue Bloods actor captioned his tribute: "So proud of my step son @evanjasher and his BFF @jkostas95 — for graduating St Charles East High School #ClassOf2021! Way to go guys!"
He has a YouTube channel
Like his mom, Evan seems to be comfortable in front of the camera. In 2017 he started his own YouTube channel where he shares videos "about gaming, comedy and more."
In February 2022, he also shared an Instagram photo of himself behind the camera, filming an unnamed green-screen project.
Evan's dad, John Asher, commented on the post, "You're on your way! 🙌❤️." McCarthy also showed her support, writing: "So proud of you❤️."
He further showed his interest in gaming when he appeared in one of his mom's TikTok videos. In the September 2022 video, Evan showcased the Minecraft server he spent six years creating.
He released his first song in 2023
When Evan was 20 years old, he debuted his first original song, "It Doesn't Matter." He was inspired to write the track by his celebrity crush, Selena Gomez, and later asked stepdad Wahlberg to sing the song after he finalized the lyrics. However, Walhberg encouraged Evan to sing the tune himself.
"It was a joy to help Evan make his song a reality. He is such an incredibly sincere young man, who really has the heart of a saint and the spirit of an artist, but none of this was handed to him— he had to put in a lot of work and prove that he was committed to the process," Wahlberg told PEOPLE of the process.
As for Evan's initial inspiration to write the song, he explained to PEOPLE, "I, too, have struggled with my health and relationships, and because Selena has been so open about her struggles, it has helped me find the confidence and inner strength to get through the toughest of times. I wrote this song to let her know how much I appreciate her, and I wish her all the love and happiness in the world because she deserves it."
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