playboy's 45th anniversary playmate
cowgirl jaime bergman is riding off into the spotlight
A small-town beauty with a yen for horses and a roomful of rodeo ribbons, Utah's Jaime Bergman is fast becoming an urban cowgirl. Only a few months ago, our 45th Anniversary Playmate left her day job as an office administrator back home, came to Los Angeles and drove straight to the Playboy Mansion to launch her career. Now she shares an apartment with 1998 Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal -- and in between Playboy photo and video shoots, she's found time to win modeling jobs in commercials and on magazine covers, as well as acting gigs in a TV pilot and a feature film. In other words, she's fast out of the gate. "People always said I should be in Los Angeles, modeling," she says with a laugh. "So here I am, doing what I was told."
Q: What's your hometown going to think of these photos?
A: I don't know [laughs]. Utah is a Mormon state, and the town is small enough that you pretty much know everybody. But everyone's been really supportive, even my religious friends. So I think it's going to be OK.
Q: Was your family religious?
A: No, we never were. My parents divorced when I was three, and for a long time it was just me and my mom. It gave me a chance to become independent, work hard, change the oil, haul the hay, clean the stalls. We had five horses at the time. Now it's up to ten. In fact, my mom and I were out riding when I told her I was going to be in Playboy.
Q: And what did she think?
A: Well, once I told her I was going to be a cowgirl in my pictorial, she was excited. She gave me ideas on how to pose and what to wear. I know she would have done the same thing years ago if she had had the opportunity. She's so beautiful.
Q: Were you always passionate about horses?
A: Actually, at first I was scared of them, because I had a lot of bad experiences. So I didn't ride for a couple of years. Then a friend of ours gave us a horse that I just fell in love with. I got more advanced and moved on to riding better horses. Then I competed in high school rodeos with my great horse, Tut. He's a palomino, so people would say, "Look out for the two blondes!" I miss him.
Q: He's back in Utah?
A: Yeah. I really love living in Los Angeles, but if I continue to stay here I'm going to have to find a horse. It's my therapy. All of your problems are gone when you're on a horse.
Q: How did you come to pose for Playboy?
A: A photographer I met asked me if I'd ever considered it, and I had to admit that I had thought about it, even as a little girl. When I was about six years old I found one of my stepdad's Playboys when my mom was getting ready for work, and I was kind of shocked. I said to my mom, "Why are these girls like this?" And she said, "The human body is a beautiful thing, and that's why they have these women in this magazine." From that time on, I had respect for Playboy, and I wondered how it would feel to be one of those girls -- to have that life. And now here I am, living the dream.
Photography by Richard Fegley