Back in 2005 the author Terry McMillan went on Oprah to confront Jonathan Plummer — whom she married in 1998 when he was in his early 20s and she in her 40s — after ending their 6.5-year marriage when Jonathan came out as gay. Terry had turned their Jamaican courtship into the book (and later, film) How Stella Got Her Groove Back; the fictional story, however, didn’t end like the real life one. If you watched that original Oprah episode, it was plainly obvious how furious Terry was at her husband’s lies. And even years later, the anger still boiled with Terry publicly trashing her ex. So when the twosome resurfaced on Oprah’s couch Tuesday, I didn’t know what to expect. Let’s just say they are now taking baths together.
From a relationship that started and ended with fireworks (and a lawsuit: Terry sued Jonathan in 2007 for $40 million, claiming intentional infliction of emotional distress, before dropping the claim), this is certainly an interesting place to be. But to watch these two former lovers and pseudo friends interact, it’s pure theater, in a humanistic way.
She seems a smidge less bitter, huh?
Let’s get to it!
Did Jonathan know he was gay going into the marriage? Or at any point in their six-year union? Initially he says no, claiming his culture forbid it, but then goes on to say he never acted on it. It was only in the last two years of the marriage did “conflicting feelings” arise. So, did he cheat on Terry with dudes? Not in any way that put her in danger, he says. (Hint: He used a condom when cheating.)
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How did Terry find out her husband was living a lie? He sat down and told her — and insisted he never had a taste of The Gay. Terry wanted to bash his face in with a lamp.
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And what’s their relationship like now? Hint: Naked bath time. Although it’s not like they’re going to braid each other’s hair anytime soon.
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So what’s Jonathan doing now? HOLY CRAP he’s hosting a web show actually called No More Down Low, co-hosted by Janora McDuffie, whicih is “dedicated to dispelling myths and stereotypes of African American gays and lesbians.” It premieres Oct. 11. And, get this, it’s executive produced by former The Oprah Winfrey Show producer Earnest Winborne. Full circles, people.