Jacqueline Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist and the wife of music legend Clarence Avant, was fatally shot in Beverly Hills, California, early Wednesday, according to authorities and a Netflix spokeswoman.
Netflix spokeswoman Emily Feingold confirmed that Jacqueline Avant was killed in the shooting. Avant’s daughter, Nicole, is married to Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer.
Jacqueline Avant, 81, was a local philanthropist who was the president of the Neighbors of Watts and served on the board of directors of the International Student Center at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Her husband, Clarence Avant, is known as the “Godfather of Black Music” and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris were among those who paid tribute to him in a video made for the induction ceremony in October.
Nicole Avant, who served as U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas from 2009 to 2011, is now a film producer whose work includes a 2019 Netflix documentary about her father, “The Black Godfather.” In an interview with NBC News about the documentary, she praised her mother.
“My mom is really the one who brought to my father and our family the love and passion and importance of the arts and culture and entertainment,” she said. “While my father was in it, making all the deals, my mother was the one who gave me, for example, my love of literature, my love of filmmaking, my love of storytelling.”
Beverly Hills police have not identified Jacqueline Avant as the victim in Wednesday’s violence. They have said only that detectives were investigating a shooting that killed one person.
The coroner’s office has not yet officially identified the person, either, but said the victim was reported as a woman in her 80s.
The suspect or suspects fled the scene and have not been found, Beverly Hills police said in a news release.
Police received a call at 2:23 a.m. reporting the shooting in a neighborhood. Officers found a person with a gunshot wound, who was later pronounced dead.
The shooting was reported on the street where the Avants live, according to voter registration records.
The police chief was expected to hold a briefing later in the day with more information.
The Avants were married in 1967. They had two children, Nicole Avant and Alexander Du Bois Avant.
Clarence Avant, 90, is a Grammy-winning executive, concert promoter and manager who mentored and helped the careers of artists including Bill Withers, Little Willie John, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
He founded Sussex Records and Tabu Records in the 1960s and 1970s and was the chairman of Motown Records in the 1990s.
Basketball icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson wrote on Twitter that he and his wife were devastated by the news of Avant’s death, calling her “one of our closest friends.”
“This is the saddest day in our lives,” he wrote.
U.S. Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat from California, said she was heartbroken by the violence.
“Mrs. Avant was a force of compassion and empowerment locally and nationally for decades, as well as a model of service and giving back to those who needed it most,” Bass wrote on Twitter.
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