'I never understood how some member of the press didn’t pick up on this'

By Ruth Kinane
April 03, 2017 at 09:30 AM EDT

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Norman Lear has a pretty surprising claim about former Good Times star Jimmie Walker: the 94-year old says Walker dates conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Lear’s claim came during an interview with black-ish creator Kenya Barris for the Untold Stories issue of Entertainment Weekly (on newsstands now). Asked by Barris about casting Walker as J.J. on Good Times, Lear said he knew the “role could make him a star,” before discussing Walker’s personal life.

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“I love him; he’s a wonderful guy, but I’ll tell you something about him that’ll astound you: He dates Ann Coulter,” Lear said. The news surprised Barris, who then listened as Lear explained he and his wife had dinner with Coulter and Walker. Lear added that Coulter turned out to be “a dreamy, delicious, sweet person.”

“J.J. dates Ann Coulter!” said Barris. “You couldn’t write that! That’s fantastic!”

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Rumors that Walker and Coulter are together have persisted for years. In 2013, Coulter told HuffPost Live that Walker was the one “spreading that rumor” about their relationship and said they weren’t together. Coulter, however, confirmed the pair are close friends.