Did Richard Pryor and Marlon Brando Have Sex? What We Know About the Rumor Rocking Hollywood
With confirmations and denials coming from both Pryor and Brando's family members, the mystery is only continuing to grow
It’s a classic case of did they or didn’t they?
Ever since Quincy Jones first alleged that Richard Pryor and Marlon Brando had a sexual relationship back in the day, the internet has been ablaze trying to determine if the music icon was being facetious or letting the world in on a decades-long secret.
But with confirmations and denials coming from both Pryor and Brando’s family members, the mystery is only continuing to grow.
And while the truth may never be clear, here is a look back at both sides of the story:
Jones was first to claim that the legendary duo had a sexual relationship, telling Vulture in a wide-ranging interview that Brando would “f— anything. Anything! He’d f— a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.”
The interview also featured a handful of wild claims made by Quincy, including that he knew the true identity of John F. Kennedy’s killer, that he once dated Ivanka Trump and that Michael Jackson once stole music.
Pryor’s Widow Speaks
Pryor’s widow Jennifer confirmed the rumor, telling TMZ that her late husband was always open about his bisexuality with friends and would not be ashamed that the relationship was revealed publicly. She also said the comedy icon wrote about sleeping with men extensively in diaries, which she says she plans to release later this year.
“It was the ’70s! Drugs were still good, especially quaaludes,” Jennifer said. “If you did enough cocaine, you’d f— a radiator and send it flowers in the morning.”
She also noted that she thinks Pryor would be having a good laugh if he heard Jones had spread the news.
Pryor’s Daughter Steps In
Days later, Rain — the daughter of Pryor and his second wife, Shelley Bonus — denied the alleged affair, posting an impassioned post about her father on Facebook, slamming both Jones and Pryor’s widow as a “bottom feeders.”
“All you who touted Faux News and preach about wanting blacks to be represented in a great light and then posted Q’s interview are irrelevant and full of your own BS,” Rain, 48, wrote. “Q, was once a brilliant music producer who is losing his mind, and decided to garner publicity for himself with a sensationalized interview; and because y’all think and equate Fame and Money with decency, you ate it up like thirsty dogs, as he spewed out a lie about my father who’s not here to defend himself.”
“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,” Rain continued.
Rain ended her note, letting her fans know that she wouldn’t be putting up with hearing the news, and would be “getting my millions the correct way, with integrity!!!!”
“Y’all so thirsty and LOVE THEM but ever know the real source or full story, and you’re gonna wonder how 45 became president? WAKE UP!!!” she wrote.
“So read this, I don’t need you as a fan or a friend. I don’t need anyone in my life that thinks a sensationalized interview is relevant and ‘incredibly well done,’” Rain added. “People who lie or share information to raise themselves up are bottom feeders no matter how much money or influence they have. Wrong is still wrong!!! #GTFOH.”
Brando’s Side Takes Action
Brando’s son also disputed claims that his father had a sexual relationship with Pryor.
Brando’s son, Miko, told TMZ that his family is “disappointed” after hearing the rumors.
“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,” said Miko, Brando’s oldest living son.
Inside the Men’s Love Lives
While the idea of Brando and Pryor hooking up certainly sounds scandalous, both men had rather chaotic love lives during their time.
Pryor — widely regarded as one of the most influential stand-ups of all time — was married seven times to five different women. Jennifer was both his fourth and seventh bride. They married in August 1981, divorced in October 1982, and later remarried on June 29, 2001. They were together until Pryor’s death in 2005.
He also had relationships with actresses Pam Grier and Margot Kidder, and one with a drag queen he said looked like Josephine Baker. He described the affair in his autobiography, writing, “I discovered that she was actually a he. For some reason, I didn’t care … But after two weeks of being gay … I went back to life as a heterosexual.”
Brando — considered one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest actors and a legendary sex symbol — was married three times, had numerous girlfriends and was father to 11 children. He was also open about his bisexuality, telling a French journalist in 1976, “Homosexuality is so much in fashion, it no longer makes news.”
He added, “Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences, and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me. But if there is someone who is convinced that Jack Nicholson and I are lovers, may they continue to do so. I find it amusing.”