In early July, Richard Pryor’s wife Jennifer Lee signed a press release on behalf of the couple endorsing Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. The press release says,
When Richard and I became of [sic] aware of SHAC’s recent run in with the FBI, Kevin [Jonas] had some concern that we might skitter away because of controversy. Now that’s comedy. We embrace this struggle on behalf of all animals; turning away is not an option. . . . And here we find ourselves, passionately committed to fighting for dogs and all animals whenever it is called — and it is called for now in this war against the insane cruelty of animal testing. Richard and I were drawn to SHAC because of its independence, its level of commitment, and because it speaks to an absolute determination inside of us to express our humanity. . .
Close down the Motherfuckers!!
Pryor has suffered from multiple sclerosis since the mid-1980s and has lent his name to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ campaign against animal testing to find treatments for the disease. In 2000, a PETA press release said that a Pryor Christmas card contained the following message,
May your heart leap with joy this holiday! And if the season finds you sharing your good fortune with others, please don’t give to charities that fund experiments on animals. A gift of goodwill should help end suffering, not cause it.
But Pryor’s daughter, Rain, recently suggested that Pryor is being manipulated by Jennifer Lee who is withholding medications that could improve his health. According to an account published in Ireland On-Line
She [Rain] tells Steppin’ Out magazine: “There are medications that could help my dad but there’s someone in his life controlling whether or not he takes those medications.”
When asked if she means Jennifer Lee, she responds, “I guess you could say that.
“Put it this way, if you’re a women who this man used to beat up for years and years and years then all of a sudden, when he’s at his sickest, sickest moment she marries him. Why? What’s the motive?”
“And now her name is on everything that has his name attached to it.”
“A long time ago he made the unfortunate choice to invite this woman back into his life with the belief that this woman was really going to help him.”
I can understand why Pryor and/or his wife would want to associate themselves with PETA and SHAC but it is interesting that those organizations would welcome that association. It says a lot that a man who is famous for his bouts of domestic violence, including a prison term for shooting up his wife’s car, is embraced by groups purporting to oppose animal abuse. Sure he slapped his wife around, but he’s really kind to his dogs (if he’d tried harder, he could have been another Kristin Kirkemo Haukeland).
Richard Pryor’s daughter attacks stepmother. Ireland On-Line, July 21, 2004.
Richard Pryor says: “Close Down the Motherfuckers!”. Press release, July 3, 2004.
Richard Pyror and Montel Williams Speak Out Against Animal Tests. Press release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Spring 2000.
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