See How Richard Pryor Did Friend, Jim Brown, Dirty After $40 Mil’ Deal
The late, great Richard Pryor and Jim Brown were best friends for many years back in the day, but many people say that Pryor did his best friend dirty after he landed a $40 million deal, while Richard said it wasn’t personal, just business.
They probably aren’t the most likely duo that you’d expect to be hangin’ together and chopping it up about sports, women, and politics, but yeah, they were as thick as thieves back then.
They couldn’t have been more different though: Jim was 6’2″ and 230 lb.; Richard was 5’10” and we’re not sure of his weight at that time, but it was a far cry from 230 lbs. Richard made people laugh for a living and Jim intimidated players and damn near used his body as a human wrecking ball in his NFL full back position. Jim was, and still is known to be one of the most hardcore dudes in the industry and at 77 years old, he still has the ability to instill fear into someone with just a cold stare. Richard on the other hand, has never been one to try to intimidate folks. Jim drank alcohol, but not in overabundance and he also lived a drug-free lifestyle. Richard as you know, followed a different philosophy about drugs and indulged plenty of times throughout his life, but somehow the two were tight and shared a bond that seemed unbreakable, even in the fickle world of entertainment.
Richard once publicly went on record in his infamous 1982 stand-up film, Live On The Sunset Strip, and described Jim Brown as one his closest friends, crediting Jim with being the one who got him off of drugs. He also said it was Brown who helped him pull through his painful recovery after his 1980 free-basing accident that caused Pryor to set himself on fire and sustain third degree burns, mostly to his upper body. When addressing his free-base accident in the film, Pryor joked about confronting Jim with his freebasing pipe in hand, and then he said that the flames from his accident would have been afraid of Jim Brown. Pryor’s fans always cracked up off of that joke and the two continued their friendship.
Jim always had Richard’s back and never let anyone mess over Richard – not his family, not his so-called friends, and not even the women in Richard’s life.
As a testament to the amount of trust Richard had for Jim, in the early 80’s he appointed Jim as the president of his new Indigo Productions Company after inking a $40 million deal with Columbia Pictures and the Coca-Cola Co., but then something suddenly changed, something that left Jim confused, the NAACP pissed off, and many accusing our beloved Richard Pryor of betraying his friend as a result of Hollywood politics.
According to Jim Brown’s autobiography, Out of Bounds, there were a couple things that Jim said began to tear a riff into he and Richard’s friendship and this is one of them:
“I learned a lot about drugs through Richard Pryor. Although I didn’t indulge, when Richard was hitting the pipe, he never came by and rarely called. I’d drive to Richard’s house and we’d talk for hours, I would try to convince him to enter the hospital but he was not a man to push.”
After Richard’s free-basing accident, Brown visited him regularly and the relationship between Richard and his family became even more strained. Pryor thought they were after his money and he also didn’t trust the women in his life, one time Pryor allegedly stated to Jim:
“How could a motherfucker like me get these fine bitches? They don’t really love me. They want my money.”
“Richard was so weak, he could barely…
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