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Terry McMillan vs. Jonathan Plummer

Terry McMillan vs. Jonathan Plummer — The prolific author and her ex-husband tell their sides of the story that inspired ”How Stella Got Her Groove Back”

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Terry McMillan vs. Jonathan Plummer

Balancing Act, the apparently autobiographical debut novel by Terry McMillan’s notorious ex-husband, Jonathan Plummer (written with Karen Hunter), follows young model Justin, his older lover (a successful black businesswoman), and the fallout after he reveals he’s gay. Plummer even winks at the best-seller he famously inspired. ”That damn woman and her book ruined it,” says Justin. ”Now all [Jamaican men] get are these women thinking they can get their groove back.”

Justin sounds disingenuous claiming his first gay tryst was unexpected. Still, Act is so juicy, it sweats.

DISHINESS Three (on a scale of one to four)

In a 13-page essay addressed to Plummer for last winter’s anthology of marital stories, The Honeymoon’s Over, Terry McMillan sounds less like an at-peace divorcĂ©e than a shrill ex-lover. Her ”100 Questions I Meant to Ask Him” range from self-revelatory (”Do you miss me?”) to overheatedly homophobic (”Have you ever been surprised by the promiscuous behavior of a lot of gay men?”) to pornographic (”Are orgasms and sex really that important?”).

A rant so cringingly honest that even Dr. Ruth might blush.