The one thing we all learned from Chappelle’s Show is that there are a number of strange but true Rick James stories. And even if it weren’t for the fact that James even confirmed much of it, they’re almost unbelievable. But here’s one story straight from the man himself.
In 1999, Rick James went on the Judge Joe Brown show. For the unfamiliar, Judge Joe Brown was one of the myriad reality court shows from the time, much like Judge Judy or The People’s Court. The format of these shows rarely changes, and Judge Joe Brown is no exception: Two people present their cases without lawyers to the titular Judge Brown, who then issues his judgement. While not an actual court of law, shows like Judge Joe Brown are legally venues for arbitration and Brown’s decisions are binding.
The case James brought before the court was a simple case of reimbursement. James loaned the defendant, Geronne Turner, a guitar and a Kurzweil amplifier. The guitar and amp were stolen from Turner’s car, and James wanted the money back. Sounds boring, right? Well, apparently James decided so, too — and always a showman, he thought he’d spice up the proceedings by outing his former friend on television.
It’s an awkward scene. Explaining that Turner had initially been paying James back in installments, that stopped when the two had a falling out. James claims it was over a time when they were in a club and Turner had put his hand on James’ ass for “40, 60 seconds.” (James later claims another man had also put his hand on James’ ass, “both buttocks.”) In the story, he then loudly berates and embarrasses Turner, and the two stopped communicating.
At most this is a footnote to the actual case at hand, but James makes it the bulk of his testimony. It’s hard not to feel awful for Turner — especially as Turner really comes off as willing to pay what’s owed. Turner doesn’t dispute any of the facts of the case — he only objects when James says things like “There’s a little sugar in his tank, you know, a little sugar going on.”
The segment ends with Brown ruling in favor of James and ordering Turner to pay the remainder. The two men agree, and shake hands at the end. James even praises Turner — “If I were a homosexual, he’d be my wife.” Eeesh.
Featured image via RickJames.com