Richard Pryor’s Widow Slams Mike Epps’ Claim She Wanted Him to ‘Screw’ Her For Role

The Daily Beast/Getty Images
The Daily Beast/Getty Images

The widow of late comedy legend Richard Pryor, Jennifer Lee Pryor, is clapping back at Mike Epps’ claim that his refusal to sleep with her cost him the role in Pryor’s biopic.

Epps made the claims this week on an episode of the All The Smoke podcast when he said, “I was gonna play Richard Pryor man, and then his wife—I didn’t screw his wife, his ex-wife and she got mad.”

Lee Pryor unequivocally denied those allegations by phone with The Daily Beast on Friday. “That’s just low-rent,” she said as she watched comments in question on YouTube, adding, “You’re just ghetto, Mike.”

Mike Epps Says Richard Pryor’s Widow Killed Biopic Because He ‘Didn't Screw’ Her

Epps was no longer in the running to play Pryor in the biopic because he’d “aged out,” Lee Pryor said. “I’m sure he’s been aware of [that] from the grapevine.”

In 2014, director Lee Daniels announced that Epps would play Pryor in an upcoming biopic that would’ve been produced by Harvey Weinstein. Epps tweeted a photo of himself kissing Lee Pryor’s ring at the time, signaling that she’d given her “blessing” for him to portray the late comedy legend.

That project never came to fruition, as Daniels backed out to focus on Empire. Lee Pryor told The Beast she’s now working on the film project with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. “We haven’t casted it yet,” she added.

Another reason she didn’t want Epps to play the role was because she wasn’t a fan of his portrayal in HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty series. “He played Richard like a homeless junkie,” she said. “It was horrible.”

“Mike’s played Richard in a couple of different movies and films, little cameos here and there, and that’s the extent of Mike playing Richard,” Lee Pryor, who controls her late husband’s estate, went on to say. “I don’t know why he wants to pick a flight with me and why he would say that [I wanted to sleep with him]. I wouldn’t touch his dick with a 10-foot pole.”

She also denied that she ever told Epps he was “not ready to play Richard,” as he claimed this week.

Lee Pryor went on to clear up some of the comments Epps made about Pryor’s funeral, including that Pryor wasn’t even in the casket and no one who knew him stood up to speak. “Richard was in the casket, if we really have to get ghoulish about it,” she said in response. “And he was cremated after.”

She added that when she asked Epps to speak, “He had his sunglasses on and he got up there to speak, and he said, ‘I don’t even know why I am here.’ I’ll never forget it.”

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