The Terry McMillan - Jonathan Plummer soap opera continues...
Now, the best-selling author is suing her ex-husband for a whopping $40 million, claiming that he tried to "humiliate and embarrass" her during their highly publicized 2005 divorce.
McMillan filed the complaint yesterday in Contra Costa County Superior Court. The action claims Plummer, who is native to Jamaica, married McMillan in 1998 with the sole purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship. McMillan's allegations also include "emotional distress, invasion of privacy and placing her in a 'false light' to harm her professionally and personally." McMillan also claims Plummer violated a restraining order ... by calling her to speak with her son.
Plummer is 23 years McMillan's junior and their whirlwind, tropical romance inspired her best-selling 1996 novel, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, which was later adapted for the big-screen staring Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs. Plummer later came out of the closet, announced that he was gay, and, that began a roller-coaster tabloid divorce. The couple eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.
In November 2005, McMillan and Plummer appeared on Oprah as part of a heavily-promoted "reconciliation" that, more or less, reconciled nothing. At the time, some criticized Plummer for cheating on his wife during their marriage and accused him of being a fortune-hunter.
Others took issue with McMillan's language toward Jonathan—including calling him a "faggot"—and her alarmist charges regarding the "down-low" and HIV. In addition, it was disclosed at the end of the segment that Oprah Winfrey had purchased the film rights to McMillan's The Interruption of Everything, which debuted on the charts that week, leading some to speculate on a conflict of interest.
Regardless of whose side you take, Plummer's story—growing up in a homophobic culture, facing a hostile public when coming out, etc—illustrates why so many black gay men remain in the closet.
You'll recall, exactly one year ago we had several long conversations with Terry McMillan after her controversial cover profile at Clik, which followed Jonathan Plummer's own cover profile.. At the time, the author revealed that she was considering litigation because, in her words, Jonathan was attempting to "extort" money beyond their settlement. Terry also said she had been threatened, and, at the time, sounded genuinely concerned about her well-being and that of her son.
Jonathan Plummer is now a hair stylist in Northern California. Even if McMillan were to prevail in the litigation—and she certainly could drag out the process, given her resources—it's unlikely the millionaire author would ever collect a monetary judgment.
Author Terry McMillan sues ex-husband for $40 million [Contra Costa Times]
Some Background ...
Coming to a Megaplex Near You [R20]
How Jonathan Got His Groove Back [R20]
Couldn't I See the Signs? [R20]
How Do You Not Know That You Are Gay? [R20]
Exclusive: The Terry McMillan Interview [R20]
On the Next Oprah ... [R20]
Clik on Jonathan [R20]
The "Invisible" Man Returns [R20]