UPDATED 9/22, 9:51 a.m. ET: Anthony Johnson’s wife Lexis Jones Mason says the family of the late comedian has received “fake love” and remains in need of financial assistance to help cover burial and service costs.
Speaking with TMZ, Lexis explained that the family is being forced to pay for these expenses out of pocket.
“We’re raising money because I have to pay for this all out of pocket,” she said. “I’m asking for help but if I don’t get it, that’s fine. I’m not leaving my husband in there like that. We’re gonna have a service. I’m gonna do everything I know he would have done for me. It’s just hurtful, you know. I would not be asking if we had it or if we had a policy.”
A GoFundMe page organized by Lexis had raised just over $6,000 of its $20,000 goal at the time of this writing. When TMZ published its interview earlier today, the total was sitting at less than $800.
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Anthony “A.J.” Johnson, best known for his roles in Friday and House Party, has died. He was 55.
According to TMZ, Johnson’s nephew found the actor unresponsive inside a Los Angeles store earlier this month. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death has not yet been released.
Johnson’s rep, LyNea Bell, confirmed his passing to the Hollywood Reporter. “We lost an icon. He will be greatly missed,” Bell said.
After landing the role of E.Z.E. in the hit 1990 comedy House Party, Johnson went on to star in several television shows and films, including 1992’s Lethal Weapon 3, 1993’s Menace II Society, 1995’s Friday, and 1998’s I Got the Hook-Up. The comic-actor also made cameos in TV shows like Martin and Malcolm & Eddie.
Johnson’s death arrives less than a year after fellow Friday star Tommy “Tiny” Lister passed away at the age of 62. Lister, best known for his role as Deebo in the film franchise, died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
The L.A. County Medical Examiner said Lister also tested positive for COVID-19, but concluded that heart disease was the cause of death.