Mike Epps Claims Richard Pryor Biopic Didn’t Happen Because He Wouldn’t Sleep With Pryor’s Widow

‘She gonna sue me for this.’ You think?
Mike Epps Claims Richard Pryor Biopic Didn’t Happen Because He Wouldn’t Sleep With Pryor’s Widow

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Mike Epps got to play comedy legend Richard Pryor in the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty but he recently reminded everyone that it could have been more than that. During an appearance on the All The Smoke podcast with ex-NBA stars Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Epps claims he was going to star in a biopic about the stand-up comic, but his widow Jennifer Lee Pryor nixed his casting after he refused her romantic advances. 

“I was going to play Richard Pryor, man, and then … I didn't screw his wife, his ex-wife, and she got mad,” Epps alleged. 

Director Lee Daniels announced in 2014 that he’d be helming a biopic with Epps in the lead. But the project fell apart, Epps says, when Jennifer Lee Pryor told him, “‘You're not going to play Richard! You didn't spank this ass.’ I said ‘Nope, I ain’t playing Richard Pryor then.’” 

Epps also claimed that Jennifer told him at Pryor’s funeral that he wasn’t ready to play Richard. Epps says he told her to kiss his mother(bleep)ing ass, then threw in a few more choice words. “I told her, ‘I love Richard Pryor. I love him to death but my kids don’t know who he is.’” He followed that up with a delusional rant about how kids today would only see a Pryor biopic because they’re Mike Epps fans. “She gonna sue me for this,” Epps added in what might be an astute look into his future. 

No lawsuits yet but Lee Pryor had denied Epps’s claims, telling The Daily Beast in a phone interview that his comments are “just low-rent. You’re just ghetto, Mike.” In a 2019 interview, she said the real reason the project fell apart was Daniels’ decision to focus on his TV series Empire

If the project happens in the future, she says, Epps won’t be part of it as he’s “aged out” of contention. Even if Epps was still young enough to play the part, Lee Pryor wouldn’t approve casting him after his performance in Winning Time. “He played Richard like a homeless junkie,” she told Daily Beast. “It was horrible.”

Epps is out of chances, she says. “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. I don’t know why he wants to pick a flight with me and why he would say that. I wouldn’t touch his dick with a 10-foot pole.”

Pryor Lee also denied the funeral confrontation, and regrets asking Epps to speak at the service. “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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