Not content to poke noses into the love lives of celebrities still living, now we're excavating the sex habits of long-dead stars, courtesy of their friends and survivors. Legendary comedian/actor Richard Pryor, take a bow.
It turns out that before Pryor died at age 65 in 2005, he had slept with Marlon Brando before Brando died at age 80 in 2004. This might be news to some Americans but it isn't to Pryor's friends and family, nor did he keep it hidden before his death that he slept with women and men.
The Brando hookup, however, put a boldfaced name to one of his alleged male lovers.
Richard Pryor, lower right, with (L-R) daughter Rain Pryor, wife Jennifer Lee, son-in-law Jerry Stordeur, and daughter Elizabeth Pryor at the Kennedy Center Oct. 20, 1998, when he received the Mark Twain Prize.
We know this now because music legend Quincy Jones said so in an expletive-drenched interview with Vulture this week. Then Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, confirmed it in an interview with TMZ and seemed to further confirm it on Twitter.
She told TMZ that Pryor was always open about his bisexuality and documented it extensively in his diaries, which she plans to publish later this year.
"It was the '70s! Drugs were still good, especially quaaludes. If you did enough cocaine, you'd (sleep with) a radiator and send it flowers in the morning," she joked, adding that she thinks Pryor would be delighted if he heard his friend Jones "spilling the tea."
"If you listen to Richard's comedy — the early stuff —he was way ahead of his time on gay rights!!! #noshame," she tweeted.
This all happened going on 40 years ago, so why are we talking about it now? Because of Jones' eyebrow-raising Q&A with writer David Marchese, in which he waxed profane on any number of subjects including that he dated Ivanka Trump and that he once thought the Beatles were the "worst musicians in the world."
Somehow, they got into a discussion about Brando, a longtime friend of Jones, and whether he liked to cha-cha. (Brando and Jones were so close that when Jones was feeling low Brando would invite him to chill out on the Tahitian island he owned.)
"(Brando) used to go cha-cha dancing with us. He could dance his ass off," Jones recalled. "He was the most charming (guy) you ever met. He’d (sleep with) anything. Anything! He’d (sleep with) a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye."
Now other friends and admirers of Pryor are jumping in with their own reactions to news of Pryor's love life.
An admirer named Mack Moli posted a clip from a roast of Pryor in which Pryor "talked about having sex w/ a dude...but he’s Richard Pryor so most ppl thought he was joking."
Screenwriter Scott Weinberg joked on Twitter that, "Apparently Marlon Brando and Richard Pryor had sex. That's not a combo I ever would have imagined. Thanks, Quincy Jones!"
Another screenwriter, Eric Haywood, joked about his next rom-com script, using a clip of Kermit the Frog madly typing.
"brb gotta go write my richard pryor-marlon brando rom-com spec script," the tweet said.
A representative of Brando's estate did not return a message from USA Today.
MORE: The 3 biggest surprises from Quincy Jones’ candid Vulture interview