SIMMONS: Play about Marvin Gaye ratchets up family feud

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She also accused Janis of trying to “poison Marvin, brainwash[ing] Marvin’s children against me,” and she said “I just want Jan to get off my back.”

Even regarding domestic violence, Zeola delivered an eyebrow-raiser: “Father wasn’t a wife beater, but sometimes Mom may have wanted to get smacked around rather than listen to his knife-sharp tongue.”

And, in our interview, Zeola said this about her memoirs and other Gaye projects that might come on the scene: “I’m not making any apologies. If it doesn’t have my name or my sister’s name [Jeanne] attached to it, it may not be accurate.”

(I wonder if Zeola will shoot down the biopic starring singer Lenny Kravitz that’s in the works.)

“We’ve all got our own our stories,” said Janis, now 57, who became Marvin’s muse four decades ago and said she underwent a double mastectomy last year.

Having a girls’ night in — “doing our hair and mani-pedis during our telephone interview on Friday evening” — Janis and Nona said they want to relay the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth regarding the beloved Marvin.

Memoirs, perhaps?

“They’re coming along nicely,” Janis said. “The people Marvin loved and loved him and music, and especially his grandchildren deserve a true depiction.”

Good for her.

Marvin’s grandchildren, born after his death, might one day take in their Aunt Zeola’s one-sided perspective, but they certainly deserve a more rounded and truthful public airing of their granddad.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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