Richard Pryor’s widow not only stands by the bombshell assertion that the late comedian had a fling with Marlon Brando, she also says he had zero regrets about it.
“He wasn’t ashamed of it,” Jennifer Lee Pryor told The Daily Beast this week. “He would be talking about it today if he were here. He’d probably fill you in on the details!”
In 2018, Quincy Jones claimed in a lengthy interview with Vulture that Pryor was among the sex partners of the Hollywood actor.
“Brando used to go cha-cha dancing with us,” said the music producer. “He could dance his a— off. He was the most charming motherf----- you ever met. He’d f----- anything. Anything! He’d f--- a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.”
Jennifer confirmed the hookup and Pryor wouldn’t have been ashamed to admit the encounter.
“It was the ’70s!” she originally shared. “Drugs were still good, especially Quaaludes. If you did enough cocaine, you’d f--- a radiator and send it flowers in the morning.”
Pryor’s daughter, Rain Pryor, immediately fired back at the 86-year-old on Facebook, stating Jones is “losing his mind and decided to garner publicity for himself with a sensationalized interview.”
“Daddy did NOT have relations with Brando,” wrote the 49-year-old. “There were no trips to his South Pacific Oasis, no flowers or love notes between them. Not even a film role. Why this sudden need to drag Daddy through the Hollywood mud? I find it tasteless and infuriating.”
“My dad was very open with his life, so much so that news of his relationship with a trans woman in the early 70s and 80s wasn’t really newsworthy nor notable,” she continued. “As a child I knew her, not as the trans person in our home, but the lady whom everyone accepted. So much acceptance I did not know she was Trans until recently.”
Rain also took a stab at Jennifer, 69, who claimed at the time Jones got it right.
“My dad’s so-called widow validated it, because she needs to keep legitimizing herself and tarnish our dad even after he’s dead,” she wrote. “She hated [Quincy Jones] and Daddy.”
Jennifer wasn't fazed by Rain’s statements.
“Darling, you weren’t even a twinkle in the eye yet,” said Jennifer, adding she doesn’t give Rain’s comments a lot of “credence" because “having Richard Pryor as a father wasn’t easy.”
“They don’t know their father the way I know him, clearly, and I think she’s off-base,” said Jennifer. “But that’s OK, I wish them well.”
Jennifer also pointed out Pryor was very open about his “dalliances” with men in his stand-up, including in a shocking performance at a gay rights benefit show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1977. Parts of that performance are featured in a new documentary titled “I Am Richard Pryor,” which had its world premiere at the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The film will air on Paramount Network Friday.
Jennifer told the publication she met Pryor in the late ‘70s, when she was a struggling actress and he was looking for someone to help decorate his new San Fernando Valley home. She immediately took on the gig for a quick buck but found herself head over heels.
“I fell in love with him the first day I met him, August 22nd, 1977,” she admitted. “I was aware of him, but I was not a fan, which was great because I saw the person.”
The pair married in 1981 but divorced in 1982. They remarried in 2001 and remained together until Pryor’s death in 2005 at age 65.
“It went south,” said Jennifer about getting divorced just one year after they were married. But despite parting ways, they “never stopped loving each other.”
“Richard always recycled women anyway,” she said, adding they “kept seeing each other on and off.” And after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she said it was Pryor who asked her to come back.
“And thank God I did,” said Jennifer. “I came back to a mess. People were selling what wasn’t nailed down, and I mean the children, the ex-wives, the girlfriends, business managers, lawyers. And I said there’s a new sheriff in town, close the bank of Pryor.”
“It’s not just about the party and the fun and when everything’s going well,” she continued. “It’s about the rough stuff. And here, you didn’t get any rougher. I had to deal with so many fires to put out — no pun intended.”
While Jennifer insisted Jones’ tale is legit and Pryor indeed slept with Brando, Rain wasn’t the only one to slam the claim.
“The Marlon Brando family has heard the recent comments by Quincy Jones and we are disappointed that anyone would make such a wrongful comment about either Marlon Brando or Richard Pryor,” Brando’s son Miko Brando told TMZ in 2018.
In March of this year, Pryor’s son, Richard Pryor Jr., told Fox News the story is completely false.
“There’s no way I believe in that,” he said. “And whoever said it, I just don’t buy it. It’s not like my dad hasn’t done things. But that particular story? I don’t believe it at all.”