Twitter was abuzz on Monday afternoon with a salacious story surrounding two of the greatest comedians who have ever graced a stage: According to Richard Pryor’s bodyguard, the late comedian’s young son was “violated” by Paul Mooney decades ago. That unsubstantiated report published Monday rocked social media and propelled Mooney’s name to the top of Twitter’s trending topics as tweets flooded timelines with opinions on the unfounded report by Rashon Kahn, who spoke out during an interview promoting his upcoming book.
Kahn, who said he was also Pryor’s trainer, told the website Comedy Hype that the legendary comedian put a hit out on Mooney for $1 million and wanted him dead after learning of the alleged violation. Pryor’s son was reportedly a young boy at the time around 1985. Pryor had two other sons — Stephen Michael and Franklin — who were born in 1984 and 1987, respectively.
Hip Hop Wired wrote that Kahn “said that because of Pryor’s drug use, he wanted to wait a few days before confirming if what his boss said was accurate. When approached again, a clear-headed Pryor restated his desire to have Mooney killed.”
Kahn’s new book is reportedly called “Everything Wasn’t Funny.”
Pryor, of course, was not around to share his side of the story. He died in 205. But one Twitter user pointed out that the story wasn’t a new one. Dart Adams seemed to imply the relationship between Mooney and Richard Pryor Jr. was consensual before deleting a series of tweets about the topic. One tweet that was not deleted said that Pryor Jr. was an adult at the time of his alleged relationship with Mooney.
Pryor Jr., who is 61 and was born in 1958, wrote in his memoir that he came out as gay to his parents in 1981 and that his father was supportive of him for it.
Watch the full interview with Kahn below.
Pryor’s sexual orientation was less the focus of the overall Twitter response as users were focused on the apparent illegal implications behind the word “violated,” which Khan used to describe whatever allegedly transpired between the two.
Some people on Twitter noted that many Black icons have been subjected to similarly damning reports after they achieve a level of success that could pose a threat to the white power structure. See Bill Cosby conspiracy theories for more on that. Others took Khan’s words as fact and had scathing reactions to Mooney.
Scroll down to see a sample of reactions across social media.