On the morning of Wednesday, December 1, TMZ reports that Jacqueline Avant—the wife of American media mogul and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Clarence Avant—was shot and killed. She was 81 years old.
While many of the circumstances around the incident are still unknown, the TMZ report reveals that it occurred early Wednesday morning at the couple’s home in Trousdale Estates, a high-end neighborhood in Beverly Hills. Law enforcement told the publication that they had received a call at 2:30 a.m. informing them of the shooting—by the time they arrived on the scene, Jacqueline had already been taken away to a nearby hospital.
Also according to TMZ, a source close to the family said that the shooting occurred in the midst of a home invasion—during which, Clarence is said to have been home. No word has come yet regarding whether he was hurt or not, nor have there been any updates on the current situation.
Clarence—known as “The Black Godfather”—has experienced a renewed sense of media attention in recent years. In 2019, he was the subject of the Netflix documentary, The Black Godfather, which explored parts of his biography, showing how he rose to prominence as a Black cultural leader, promoting concerts, producing content, fundraising for politicians, and racking up a mighty powerful list of admirers (including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Jesse Jackson, Quincy Jones, Al Sharpton, Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and more).
Clarence and Jacqueline are also the parents of Nicole Avant, the former United States ambassador to the Bahamas and current wife of Netflix co-chief executive officer, Ted Sarandos.
In the mid-1970s, Jacqueline was involved in local politics, serving as the president of Neighbors of Watts, an organization involved in supporting the South Central Community Child Care Center. She also served on the board of directors for the International Student Center at UCLA.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy