Richard Pryor’s widow has spoken out about the comedian’s fling with actor Marlon Brando, revealing that he didn’t regret it.
‘He wasn’t ashamed of it,’ Jennifer Lee, 79, told the Daily Beast. ‘He would be talking about it today if he were here. He’d probably fill you in on the details!’
Pryor’s fling with Brando was first revealed last year by legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who said the Godfather star would ‘f**k anything’.
‘He was the most charming motherf****r you ever met,’ Jones told Vulture last February.
‘He’d f**k anything. He’d f**k a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.’
Richard Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee (pictured together in 1979) has confirmed that the legendary comedian had a ‘dalliance’ with Marlon Brando – and that he wasn’t ashamed of it
Pryor’s fling with Brando was first revealed last year by legendary music producer Quincy Jones, who said the Godfather star (pictured in 1973) would ‘f**k anything’
Lee quickly confirmed the story, explaining that ‘it was the seventies!’
‘Drugs were still good, especially Quaaludes,’ she told TMZ at the time. ‘If you did enough cocaine, you’d f**k a radiator and send it flowers in the morning.’
Lee revealed to Daily Beast that she called Jones after his interview and told him to ‘keep telling the truth’.
‘When people say, “Well let him rest in peace Jennifer, what are you doing?” then you’re not a fan,’ she said. ‘Because Richard discussed this. He’d be pissed off that Q was getting a hard time.’
Shortly after Jones’ interview, one of Pryor’s daughters hit out at both the producer and Lee for their comments about her father.
‘Daddy did NOT have relations with Brando,’ Rain Pryor, 49, wrote in one Facebook post, claiming Jones was ‘losing his mind’ and ‘decided to garner publicity for himself with a sensationalized interview’.
‘Then on top of it all, 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 hated Q and Daddy,’ Rain added, clearly referring to Lee.
‘He would be talking about it today if he were here. He’d probably fill you in on the details!’ Lee said of her late husband (pictured together after he was diagnosed with MS in 1994)
But Lee said she wasn’t bothered by Rain’s comments, saying Pryor’s child wasn’t ‘even a twinkle in the eye yet’.
‘They don’t know their father the way I know him, clearly,’ she added. ‘I think she’s off-base. But that’s okay, I wish them well.’
Lee said that Pryor was always open about his ‘dalliances’ with men as well as a transgender woman.
The legendary womanizer, who was married seven times to five different women, even discussed his relationships with men in his stand-up acts, she added.
Pryor performed for a gay rights benefit show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1977 and told the crowd ‘I have sucked a d**k’.
But the comedian’s set ended with boos after he claimed that it was the first time he realized ‘f*****s are prejudiced’.
‘I don’t see so n*****s out here!’ he told the crowd. ‘And when the n*****s were burning down Watts, you motherf*****s were doing what you wanted to do on Hollywood Boulevard and didn’t give a s**t about it.’
Lee said the set was Pryor trying to tell the crowd that ‘hey, I’m kind of one of you’.
Lee said that she called Jones after his interview and told him to ‘keep telling the truth’ about Pryor and Brando
But shortly after Jones’ interview, Pryor’s daughter Rain (Pictured with Richard Pryor Jr) hit out at both Jones and Lee and said that her father did not have an affair with Brando
‘Not necessarily one of you,’ she added. ‘But I know the party, I know what happens, I’m down.’
Lee first married Pryor in August 1981, only to divorce the following year. They remarried in June 2001 and stayed together until he died in 2005.
The pair first met in the late 1970s – at the height of the comedian’s fame – when Pryor was looking for someone who could help him decorate his new home in the San Fernando Valley.
Lee, a struggling actress at the time, took the job.
‘I fell in love with him the first day I met him, August 22, 1977,’ she said. ‘I was aware of him, but I was not a fan, which was great because I saw the person.’
Lee recalled Pryor bringing ‘out a different woman’ every morning. He married actress Deborah McGuire shortly after meeting Lee.
The couple split in 1978 after Pryor shot at his own car while McGuire tried to leave him. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Lee said she fell in love with Pryor the ‘first day’ she met him in 1977, but he first married Deborah McGuire (pictured on their wedding day) before he got involved with Lee
Pryor and Lee got married in 1981. They remarried in 2001 after he begged her to come back to him following his MS diagnosis
Two years later, Pryor poured rum all over his body and set himself on fire after days of freebasing cocaine.
He ran down a Los Angeles street and had to be calmed down by the police before he was taken to the hospital, where he spent six weeks in recovery.
Lee (pictured at the premiere of I Am Richard Pryor at SXSW on Tuesday) is now trying to get a biopic made about her late husband
‘I sometimes think that Richard created chaos for comedy,’ Lee said. ‘It was fodder, grist for the mill as they say.’
Lee said everyone asked her how she could date him after what happened with McGuire, or with everything that was going on in his personal life.
‘Richard didn’t want a nurse,’ she said as she discussed their relationship in the new documentary I Am Richard Pryor.
‘He wanted a ride-or-die b***h. He wanted somebody who could hang. I could hang.’
Lee told Daily Beast that she had moved out once Pryor’s cocaine addiction took over, but returned to his side following the fire incident.
Things quickly ‘went south’ and the couple divorced, but Lee said they ‘never stopped loving each other’.
But the couple continued to date on and off through the years and, when Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986, he begged her to come back to him for good. Eventually, she gave in.
‘He had been asking me, and I said, “No, you had your chance, you blew it, you screwed up,”‘ she recalled.
But Lee said she then realized that what she had with the comedian was ‘what real love is’.
‘I sometimes think that Richard created chaos for comedy,’ Lee said of her husband’s legendary sets. ‘It was fodder, grist for the mill as they say’
‘It’s not just about the party and the fun and when everything’s going well,’ she said.
‘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 – pun intended.’
Now Lee is hoping to finally get a biopic about Pryor’s life on screen after she originally tried to produce it with Harvey Weinstein.
Lee revealed that Weinstein even wore his now infamous bathrobe to one of their meetings, although she said he didn’t try anything with her.
‘I aged out,’ she said, referring to the dozens upon dozens of accusations of sexual harassment and assault from young actresses against Weinstein.
‘But it was still inappropriate. I don’t let my gardener see me in my bathrobe. I mean come on, it’s a business meeting dude!’ she added.
Lee said she’s now doing a ‘complete reset’ for the film and also plans to publish Pryor’s diaries and journals in the near future.