On Wednesday, Richard Pryor was trending on Twitter after his ex-wife, Jennifer Lee, told TMZ that Pryor had sex with Marlon Brando in the ’70s.
Speaking to Vulture recently, Quincy Jones said of Brando, “He could dance his ass 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.” Lee said that Pryor would have “no shame” about Quincy’s comments.
Who exactly is Jennifer Lee? How long was she married to Pryor? Read on to learn more about Jennifer Lee, who Pryor was married to at his time of death.
1. She Was Married to Pryor Twice
Lee was first married to Pryor from 1981 to 1982. She then married him again in 2001.
In an interview with ABC after Pryor’s death, Lee said, “He was a real piece of work. He was a handful, and a wonderful handful, and a heartbreaker and the love of my life.” She continued by saying, “He had a very dark side that could strike out and be very volatile at any moment,” she said. “He was incredibly loving and vulnerable. When I met him, the thing that struck me most about him was his vulnerability. And I can tell you many women say this about him, that there was something so open and raw and refreshing about him.”
Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. In 2005, just days after his 65th birthday, he died of a heart attack. At the time of his death, Lee told CNN, “He enjoyed life right up until the end… At the end, there was a smile on his face.”
2. Pryor Was Married Seven Times to Five Women
Lee wasn’t the only woman that Pryor was married to twice. He was married to Flynn Belaine from 1986 to 1987, and then again from 1990 to 1991.
In total, Pryor was married seven times. All his marriages (apart from his last, to Jennifer Lee) lasted around one year.
Pryor’s first wife was Patricia Price, whom he married in 1960 and divorced in 1961. He married his second wife, Shelley R. Bonus, in 1968. They divorced in 1969.
3. Lee Is an Actor & Producer
Lee used to work as an actor. Her last acting credit was in 2010.
According to IMDB, she will also serve as an executive producer on the project Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? which has been announced but no date has been set.
4. She Was Also Pryor’s Manager
Along with being his wife, Lee was Pryor’s manager, according to NPR.
In her interview, she explained that she was dating him for a while before she first saw him perform. Recalling the night she first witnessed him on the stage, she says, “He pulls into the driveway of the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard and the next thing I know, I see Richard onstage. I was very surprised that this was the culmination of our evening but more surprised that this was so unintended; that in fact, it was so spontaneous. But that’s how Richard worked.”
5. Pryor’s Son Reportedly Threatened to Sue Her If She Continued Pryor’s Biopic
In 2014, TMZ reported that Pryor’s son, Richard Pryor Jr. gave his stepmom, Lee, a cease and desist letter demanding she stop the production of Lee Daniels’ Richard Pryor biopic.
TMZ reportedly obtained the letter, and Richard Jr. accuses Jennifer using “illegal, fradulent” activity to obtain the rights for the film.
Prior Jr. is said to have threatened legal action if the movie went forward.
In May 2016, Director Lee Daniels stepped off the Richard Pryor biopic, which, at the time, belonged to the Weinstein Company.
In 2013, Lee was an executive producer on a separate documentary, “Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic.”