Her romance with a younger man was the basis for the popular film, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Now, bestselling author Terry McMillan is in the midst of a nasty divorce from her husband who she found out was gay after she caught him talking to his boyfriend back in Jamaica. McMillan wisely made her boyfriend sign a pre-nup before the wedding, but now he's trying to break the agreement and has already won the first round in court. McMillan says that Jonathan Plummer has always known he was gay and only married her to get American citizenship. Women's groups and the BET messageboards are firmly on McMillan's side, with most deriding Mr. Plummer's assertion that he just discovered he's gay. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson isn't buying it:
Plummer says he recently discovered he is gay. This can't help but fuel anxiety over the "down low" phenomenon -- black men who date or marry women while secretly having sex with men.
From the divorce filings, we can gather that McMillan, 53, is feeling some understandable anger. She has kicked Plummer, 30, out of her San Francisco area house, intends to enforce a prenuptial agreement that gives him essentially nothing and throws in the allegation that he embezzled $200,000 from her accounts. A judge awarded Plummer $2,000 a month in spousal support, despite the prenup, but that's just provisional and might not last.
McMillan's fiction describes a catalogue of slick, predatory, no-good players. In the movie version of Waiting to Exhale" think of the preening bad boys who obliterate Lela Rochon's self-esteem. Or the smooth-talking married man who strings along poor Whitney Houston. Or the smug, wealthy cad who cheats on Angela Bassett, and unforgettably gets his car torched in return.
Is Plummer just a type of player that the sharp-eyed McMillan somehow missed?
And anyhow, by the time they married he was 24. In his mid-twenties, he still didn't have the slightest inkling that he liked guys? Then he moves to the San Francisco area, not exactly Taliban territory when it comes to gay sexuality, and doesn't feel a tingle? So yes, I'm skeptical of Plummer -- I think this might, indeed, be a "down low" scenario.
Sounds like Mr. Plummer is, indeed, just another player on the "down low" who took advantage of the talented Ms. McMillan.