Former TV Judge Joe Brown’s search for his next wife made an unexpected stop Saturday at the annual Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers scholarship gala.
“It was a strange evening. Yeah,” said former Minneapolis City Council Member Jackie Cherryhomes. “His first comment was, You know, my wife kicked me to the curb, but I’m glad to be here in Minneapolis with the most beautiful women in any city.”
Cherryhomes couldn’t stop laughing, as she noted, “There was like this stunned silence. I thought ‘OH, my goodness. He doesn’t know much about Minneapolis culture. That is NOT the way I would begin a speech, particularly with women who are as bright and accomplished as the women in our city.’ I was telling my mother about this; I said, ‘These are prominent women. These are judges, these are women of great, high intelligence.’ ”
On Tuesday I contacted Cherryhomes’ husband, attorney F. Clayton Tyler, who said, “Absolutely, I thought there were some very interesting comments. Call Jackie. She’ll have a fun time with it.”
Continuing with Cherryhomes: “These were just not good comments to make. Fred and I were there, as we always are, as we always look forward to it. This is an organization that has had the likes of Jeffrey Toobin speaking, and somehow we have Judge Joe Brown? It was like stream-of-consciousness to follow anything he said.”
Ah yes, multiple sources noted the James Joyce “Ulysses”-like quality of Brown’s speech, which included various rants, including one about how he was not allowed to be himself, political and outspoken, on his TV show.
“He went on and on and on — aimlessly and pointlessly,” said Cherryhomes. “I think he’d still be talking except they turned up the lights in the room [at the Marriott]. That was kind of his cue he should come to an end.”
I told Cherryhomes that I had heard that, while he was interacting with the audience, Brown paid little attention to nobaby (Judge Brown inspired me to coin this hybrid of “nobody” and “babe”) who looked too much older than 30. Cherryhomes laughed.
So Brown brought his search for love to the Twin Cities? “And aren’t we lucky?” said Cherryhomes.
On the bright side, I told Cherryhomes that instead of being deadly dull, as these events often are (not talking about you, Jeffrey Toobin; I was there and you were terrific), at least this one was entertaining!
Cherryhomes wasn’t buying it, and neither probably would MABL Prez Lori-Ann Jones, a Fredrikson & Byron attorney.
“He seemed like he was having a very good time, I’ll say that,” said Jones. “I heard mixed comments. I heard really good things; I heard people really liked him. Other people didn’t like him as much. It’s hard to speak for a whole organization. It’s hard to say what everyone thought.”
I asked Jones if she thought it was appropriate for Brown to stand up, talk about being curbed by divorce and announce he was single and ready to mingle with beautiful Minnesota women? I thought the phone call had been dropped.
“I’m being silent on purpose,” said Jones. “I’m not going to comment on this.”
That’s OK. I got plenty of comments from other lawyers at the gala.
I’m told that when Brown said he had been kicked to the curb, one prominent person was overheard remarking: I’m not surprised.
Word is that some members of the audience traced their index fingers across their throats in a gesture suggesting that Brown’s mike be cut.
One attorney — and isn’t it obvious this was a man? — told me Brown seemed really thrown for a loop about the demise of his marriage. Another attorney told me that sometimes when you go for the celebrity sizzle, you get burned.