so, i can't lie. i love angela bassett but i hated that damn movie "how stella got her groove back". but i didn't hate the movie enough to wish this on the sista. read the story below.
In a tale rich in lost love, closeted secrets and acrimonious divorce, it
turns out that famed local writer Terry McMillan -- whose celebrated romance
and subsequent marriage to a man 23 years her junior became the subject of
her fictionized best-seller "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" --
actually got her groove back with a man who now says he's gay.
The story is spilling out in made-for-Hollywood detail in Contra Costa
County Superior Court, where McMillan has filed for divorce from her
Jamaican- born husband of six years, Jonathan Plummer.
McMillan, 53, said in court documents that the marriage was based on a
"fraud'' because Plummer lied about his sexual orientation -- and married
her only to gain U.S. citizenship.
"It was devastating to discover that a relationship I had publicized to the
world as life-affirming and built on mutual love was actually based on
deceit,'' she wrote in her declaration. "I was humiliated."
Plummer, 30, countered in court papers of his own that McMillan has turned
on him with a "homophobic'' vengeance and is trying to force his return to
an uncertain future in Jamaica. He wants to void the couple's prenuptial
agreement that would keep from him most of the millions she's earned as a
He also claims he was denied his full share of royalties, as spelled out in
the prenup, from "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," the fictionalized account
of a single mother's torrid relationship with a Jamaican young enough to be
her son that very much parallels the lives of McMillan and Plummer.
Plummer's attorney, Dolores Sargent, said her client has no interest in
embarrassing McMillan or extorting money from her.
"All I want to do is settle the case in a way that's fair to both parties
... and that allows Jonathan sufficient funds to re-establish himself,''
Sargent said. "And we have been blocked.''
In court papers, however, McMillan leaves little doubt that she believes
Plummer was always motivated by money.
"Jonathan has manipulated me from the very beginning in his scheme to come
to the United States, become a citizen and get rich through someone else's
effort,'' McMillan wrote in one of her filings.
In fact, McMillan says Plummer zeroed in on her precisely because of her
celebrity status as an author whose earlier books included "Waiting to
Exhale, '' which sold some 4 million copies and was made into a movie.
In an interview, Plummer insisted that he didn't know he was gay when he met
McMillan in June 1995 at a Jamaican resort. Nor, he says, did he seize on
the author's fame.
"I was a 20-year-old kid when I met her and had no idea that she was anybody
other than an attractive, older woman,'' he said in court papers.
For her part, McMillan, who was then 42, said she worried when she first met
Plummer that he was interested only in her money. "But Jonathan was very
charming and made me believe that he was crazy about me,'' she told the
The two eventually married in Maui on Sept. 8, 1998 -- but not before
Plummer signed a prenup that waived his rights to everything should they
ever part, including "temporary and permanent spousal support and attorney's
fees, '' according to court papers filed by McMillan.
The couple settled in McMillan's $4 million Danville home and, at least
according to Plummer, enjoyed a happy life -- until the last few years when
the marriage started coming undone.
"He became less attentive, less charming, more distracted and absent from
the home,'' McMillan wrote in her declaration.
Plummer said he was spending long hours with a dog-grooming business in
Danville that McMillan had set up for him a couple of years ago in apparent
anticipation of a split.
It wasn't until just before last Christmas, Plummer says, that the two
finally split -- after he revealed he was gay.
"I was kicked out of the house in December right after I told her,'' he said
in the interview.
In court records, however, McMillan says Plummer confessed to being gay only
after she confronted him about all his hours of phone calls to a male friend
living in Jamaica. She also says she later learned that Plummer was
participating in online gay chat sites.
In any event, judging from the court filings, the disclosure quickly turned
ugly. McMillan obtained a restraining order to keep Plummer from their
house, and she claimed she recently discovered that Plummer had embezzled at
least $200,000 from her bank accounts before and during their marriage. (He
admits in court papers "a gross error of judgment" in taking $62,000 without
her knowledge, but said that he was financially dependent on her during the
marriage and that he intends to pay it back.)
Plummer obtained his own restraining order against the author, alleging that
McMillan constantly harassed him for coming out of the closet, and at one
point walked into his dog-grooming business and tossed a ceramic object
across the room.
"She kept calling me, saying nasty things about me being gay, calling me a
fag,'' Plummer said in an interview.
In a Jan. 14 letter written by McMillan and filed with the court, the author
told Plummer, "The reason you're going to make a great fag is that most of
you guys are just like dogs anyway. ... You do whatever with whomever
pleases you and don't seem to care about the consequences."
Plummer also says McMillan came into the dog-grooming shop and left him a
bottle of Jamaican hot pepper sauce on which she wrote, "Fag Juice Burn Baby
Burn,'' and that she also scrawled "Jonathan's Fag boyfriend Fag'' on a
photo of a friend.
"She is an extremely angry woman who is homophobic and is lashing out at me
because I have learned I am gay,'' Plummer declared in a court filing last
McMillan's attorney, Jill Hersh -- a divorce lawyer who has handled civil
rights cases involving gay couples and their children -- says her client "is
anything but homophobic.''
"However, she feels betrayed and disappointed ... that her husband is gay,
'' Hersh said. "And anything you have seen in the pleadings emanates from
how she is experiencing the end of her marriage, and it doesn't have to do
with anything else.''
Hersh also disputes Plummer's contention that McMillan was seeking an
annulment as a way to get him deported, as he alleges. In pressing her claim
of fraud, however, McMillan told the court that Plummer waited to tell her
he was gay until he knew his application for citizenship was going to be
Plummer says he understands that McMillan felt betrayed by his coming out.
"But I was being truthful to myself, and didn't want to hurt her anymore,''
On June 17, a Superior Court judge handed Plummer a minor victory --
ordering McMillan to pay him $2,000 a month in spousal support, plus $25,000
in attorney's fees -- until a full trial on the validity of the prenuptial
agreement and the annulment request is heard in October.