Jenifer Lewis recalls one-night stand with Jon Voight
By Derrick Bryson Taylor November 2, 2017 | 11:52am
Jenifer Lewis bared her soul in her memoir “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” including the details of her sex addiction and a one-night stand with Jon Voight.
In the chapter titled “A Doll Named ‘Killer,’” Lewis, 60, recalls performing at Studio 54 one year for an AIDS charity and catching Voight’s eye.
Lewis, who currently stars on “Black-ish,” writes that she and Voight began their night with a walk through Central Park and took a romantic carriage ride.
“We talked about being from families of hard workers,” she writes. “We stared into each other’s eyes and kissed. We went to his room on the 35th floor of the Essex House. I was spellbound by his sensitivity and kindness … Let’s just say he was a real ‘Midnight Cowboy.’”
Lewis told Page Six it was a night to remember.
“It was a beautiful night. Hansome carriage ride. We walked. And he was very sweet, he walked me home,” she said before digging into his political views. “Of course now he’s a Republican and goes with the NRA.”
Lewis said she never wanted more from Voight, who at the time had won the Best Actor Oscar a few years before in 1979. “I knew that was a one-night stand,” she elaborated. “That was just some young, part of the sex addiction, part of the drama of being in my 20s … It was ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ child, please. I went in!”
While Lewis isn’t afraid of possible backlash that may come from her book, some of the names have been changed, others haven’t. “Come for me, bitch,” she ribbed. “I’m right here. I know who I am. I’m not afraid of that because I know who I am.”
In the book, Lewis discusses her sex addiction, her bipolar disorder and 17-plus years of therapy to overcome it all.
“This book damn near killed me,” she quipped. “I have kept a journal since the seventh grade. Day to day. I had to go back and read all 63 of them. I’m 60 years old. But I had three filled with feelings. It was the biggest challenge of my life to write this book. There were several times I wanted to quit. It was a very difficult process, but I continued because that’s really all I really know to do.”
Jenifer Lewis and Bette Midler backstage at “Hairspray”Getty Images
In the memoir — which also covers several dark moments from her past, including being molested by a pastor and calling out Jane Pauley for insulting her on the “Today” show — she also gives credit to Bette Midler for helping her career along.
“Bette has always been there for me,” Lewis said. “In my younger years, they were calling me the black Bette Midler. The quote was I was a combination of Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg and Mahalia [Jackson].”
She cautions that “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” out Nov. 14, isn’t a tell-all memoir, as there are more stories that didn’t make the cut. Instead, she considers it a learning tool.
“I didn’t want to preach nor teach in this book, I wanted to show my story, my song,” she advised. “This is what I did. You take from what you will … Don’t let me have written this sh-t in vain! You find some tool in here to help you make one more step to your goals, to your happiness.”