Oprah Talks to Quincy Jones
Oprah: So Jeri was your first of five wives.
Quincy: There haven't been five wives! There have been five mothers, three wives.
Oprah: I got it. Five mothers, three wives, seven children.
Oprah: You have a whole chapter in the book on dogging, in which you admit you were a dog in some of those relationships.
Quincy: Yes—but I never cheated on Ulla [Anderson, Quincy's second wife] or on my third wife, Peggy [Lipton].
Oprah: Okay, Q—this is really no one's business, but the perception of you is that you have only been with white women.
Quincy: I have been with every kind of woman of every nationality. Do you think that with a soul like mine, I would limit myself to one kind of woman when I'm in Taiwan, Tokyo, Pakistan, Turkey, and Morocco? That's crazy! All the jazz guys had interracial relationships, and even the ladies did. Over the years, interracial relationships have been a hip, almost defiant thing, a way of saying "Nobody can put a boundary around me." And back when I was in Garfield High School in Washington in the late 1940s, there were only about five black women—and the other black dudes already had the ones I was into covered! Yet if I was willing to go with Filipinos and whites, I had 1,800 women to choose from.
Oprah: You've said you were in love with every one of the women you were with. How could you have been in love with all of them?
Quincy: Honey, I had a lot of love to give! I just got attracted by kindness—by someone who acknowledged me as a human being.
Oprah: You hint in your autobiography that your relationships with women were often affected by your feeling of motherlessness.
Quincy: No doubt. I wasn't aware of it, but whenever a woman would come too close, I would cut her off. Part of that was vindictive—but that was totally subconscious. And after coming out of Elvera's house, I wasn't sure I could make a relationship work. I had a lot of fear. I was 19 when I married Jeri, and I didn't know what I was doing.
Oprah: You were really just a boy looking for love from his momma.
Quincy: No doubt. There are two kinds of people: those who have nurturing parents or caretakers, and those who don't. Nothing's in between. When you've been nurtured, you know it. My parents didn't even come to my graduation.
Oprah: Your father didn't come because your stepmother didn't want to, right?