In 1969, he was portrayed as having sex with Raquel Welch in the western “100 Rifles,” the first major Hollywood film depicting a Black man making love to a white woman.
Brown was “becoming a Black John Wayne; or maybe John Wayne with just a hint of Malcolm X thrown in,” Gloria Steinem wrote in New York magazine in 1968. “I don’t want to play Negro parts,” Brown told Ms. Steinem. “Just cool, tough modern men who are also Negroes. And not good guys all the time.”
But Brown had a problematic personal life.
He was arrested more than a half-dozen times, in most cases when women accused him of violent behavior, in the years when prominent men, like athletes, actors and political figures were generally not held accountable by the public for purported transgressions against women.
But Brown was never convicted of a major crime. In some instances the accusers refused to testify and in others he was exonerated by juries.
The first accusation against Brown was lodged in 1965 when an 18-year-old woman testified that he had assaulted her at a Cleveland motel. Brown denied the allegation and was found not guilty in a jury trial. A year later, the woman filed a civil paternity suit alleging that Brown had fathered her baby daughter. The jury found in his favor.
In June 1968, the police, arriving at Brown’s Hollywood home after a neighbor phoned to report a disturbance, found his 22-year-old girlfriend, Eva Bohn-Chin, a model, lying bloodied and badly injured on his patio. They suspected that Brown had thrown her off his second-story balcony. He said she had fallen. Ms. Bohn-Chin refused to testify, resulting in the dismissal of an assault charge. Brown paid a $300 fine for interfering with a police officer who had been seeking entrance to his home. Brown’s wife, Sue Brown, with whom he had three children, obtained a divorce in 1972.
When Spike Lee released his 2002 documentary “Jim Brown: All American,” Brown was in a Los Angeles area jail, having lost an appeal over a misdemeanor vandalism conviction in 1999. Brown’s wife by then, Monique Brown, had called the police to report that he smashed the windows of her car with a shovel after an argument.
Source: NY Times