How Stella Got Her Groove Back's Terry McMillan splits from man who inspired the novel

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 29, 2005 08:00 AM

How Stella Got Her Groove Back author Terry McMillan is seeking to annul her 6 1/2-year marriage to the man who inspired her 1996 novel about the romantic adventures of a 40-something woman who falls for a guy half her age.

In papers filed on May 19 in California’s Contra Costa County Superior Court, McMillan, 53, says she decided to divorce Jonathan Plummer, 30, because she has learned he is gay. McMillan also contends that Plummer married her only to get his U.S. citizenship after the two met at a Jamaican resort a decade ago.

“It was devastating to discover that a relationship I had publicized to the world as life-affirming and built on mutual love was actually based on deceit,” she said in court papers. “I was humiliated.”

Though reluctant to sift through the details, McMillan told PEOPLE on June 21 that Plummer has moved out of her six-bedroom home in the Bay Area suburb of Danville. “Let’s put it this way,” says McMillan. “My husband and I are not going to be married anymore.”

In response the divorce papers, Plummer maintained McMillan treated him with “homophobic” scorn bordering on harassment since he came out to her as gay just before Christmas. He has asked the court to set aside a prenuptial agreement that would prevent him from getting spousal support.

McMillan said she did not plan to let a divorce “detract from the many blessings in her life,” according to a statement released through her publicist.

Plummer’s attorney could not be reached for comment.