Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music icon and executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed during a home invasion at their Beverly Hills residence. She was 81.
Beverly Hills police say they received a call at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time concerning a shooting that took place on the 1100 block of Maytor Place. When authorities arrived, an unnamed victim had suffered a gunshot wound.
The victim was transported to a local hospital and died, according to police. The suspects were no longer at the scene when authorities arrived.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY that Jacqueline Avant was the victim of the robbery. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos is married to Jacqueline’s daughter Nicole Avant.
In a statement to USA TODAY, the Avant and Sarandos families thanked everyone “for their outpouring of love, support and heartfelt condolences for Jacqueline.”
“Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother and philanthropist and a 55 year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive impact on the arts community,” the statement said. “She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”
Beverly Hills Police added that Chief Mark G. Stainbrook would be holding a news conference to release more information.
TMZ was the first to report Jacqueline Avant’s death.
“The City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Police Department extends our deepest sympathies to the victim’s families,” police wrote in a media release Wednesday.
Former President Bill Clinton paid tribute on Twitter.
“Jackie Avant was a wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen & a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years,” Clinton said. “She inspired admiration, respect & affection in everyone who knew her. We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed.”
NBA superstar Magic Johnson said he was “devastated” by the news of Avant’s death on Twitter: “Cookie and I are absolutely devastated at the loss of one of our closest friends Jackie Avant. She was senselessly murdered last night in a home invasion. This is the saddest day in our lives.”
Viola Davis wrote: “So sorry for the Avant family. My heart goes out to you!!! OMG!!!! Where are we??!!! WHAT are we?!!”
“My heart breaks for Clarence and Nicole and all the Avant family. This world can be so cruel and cold!! I have no idea what kind of sub-human could shoot an 81 year old woman, and in her own home,” Tyler Perry tweeted.
Jacqueline Avant was a local philanthropist who was 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.
Jacqueline Avant is survived by her husband, Clarence Avant, whom she married in 1967; daughter Nicole Avant; and son Alexander 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 chair of Motown Records in the 1990s.
Clarence Avant, who is known as the “Godfather of Black Music,” was recently honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Ahmet Ertegun award.
Netflix released the documentary “The Black Godfather” in 2019 looking at the last 60 years in Clarence Avant’s life as a music pioneer and businessman.
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