According to Pam Grier:

Richard Pryor included me in so much of his life that I found myself falling in love with him.

We had a few good months early on, but soon enough, Richard started missing his “using” buddies.

As his friends began trickling back into his life, he introduced me to some of them, and they were sensitive to his situation at first. They got high before they got there and Richard got very busy writing and setting up deals.

I became the go-between. A producer would call me and say, “How’s he doing? Do you think he’ll show up today?”

Richard and his friends used to hang out in the kitchen. One afternoon, I went into the kitchen and saw a pile of cocaine sitting on a mirror next to a razor blade and rolled up $100 dollar bills.

Richard acted like he hadn’t been indulging, but I knew better. I saw the signs, his bloodshot eyes, the lines of coke and the empty bottles of Courvoisier.

After his friends left, I got on his case about relapsing and I asked him, “Why do you keep feeding your friends and loaning them money?” I added: “Why doesn’t anybody say, hey, I’ll bring some ribs and a roast over or a six-pack or a bottle of wine?” They don’t bring anything, you supply it all.

I also suggested he get his financial matters in order to help him save some money for himself and his children’s future. Richard didn’t trust managers, and he refused to give over his power and authority to anyone-except me.

He wanted me to take over his finances, but I refused. “I have a career, too, I reminded him. I need to focus on myself.”

One day, I went in for my annual checkup with my gynecologist. After the exam, he asked me to step into his office to talk.

"Pam, I want to tell you about an epidemic that’s prevalent in Beverly Hills right now. It’s a buildup of cocaine residue around the cervix and in the vagina. You have it. Are you doing drugs?

"No," I said, astonished.

"Well, it’s really dangerous," he went on. "Is your partner putting cocaine on his penis to sustain his erection?"

"No," I said. "not that I know of. It’s not like he has a pile of cocaine next to the bed and he dips his penis in it before we have sex."
Suddenly, I had a nauseating flash of one of Richard’s famous lines: Even my dick has a cocaine jones.

"Are you sure he isn’t doing it in the bathroom before he comes to bed?" the doctor asked.

"That’s a possibility," I said. "You know, I am dating Richard Pryor."

"Oh, my God," he said. "We have a serious problem here. If he’s not putting it on his skin directly, then it’s worse because the coke is in his seminal fluid. You can have some serious cervical and uterine problems. You can even become sterile and you might have to have a hysterectomy.

"Will it ever go away," I asked. "It’ll go away eventually," the doctor said.

In the meantime, he has to wear a condom or you’re going to be a very sick woman.

Later that evening, I told Richard, I have cocaine inside of me. It’s eating me up and it could kill me. Have you been putting it on your penis?

"No. Of course not," he answered quickly. I took a deep breath. "I have to ask you to wear a condom when we have sex."

"What?" was all he said.

I said, “you have to Richard,” I pleaded with him. “Only for a while. I have to get rid of these lesions so I don’t get infections.”

He said, “I hate condoms. I can’t feel anything.”

"Will you at least talk to my doctor?"

"No."

I realized at that moment that I was not truly loved by this man.

-“A Memoir: My Life In Three Acts,” by: Pam Grier with Andrea Cagan

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