“We’re raising money because I have to pay for this all out of pocket,” Lexis Jones Mason explained.
The wife of late comedian Anthony “AJ” Johnson is speaking out about the “fake love” the family is receiving in wake of his death earlier this month.
Lexis Jones Mason poured her heart out to TMZ about her husband’s sudden passing and the financial assistance she needs for burial costs. The Johnson family has started a GoFundMe that has surpassed the goal of $20k.
“We’re raising money because I have to pay for this all out of pocket,” Mason explained.
A message on the campaign page reads:
One of our favorite and beloved comedians, A.J. Johnson has gone to be with the Lord. Please help us by donating for his homegoing service and ongoing support for his children and grandchildren. We want to honor him the way he deserves.
“Lexis would absolutely appreciate any donations friends or fans of AJ could contribute. And, if no one comes through, Lexis says she’ll probably cremate him — and will go back to work ASAP to cover that on her own,” TMZ reports.
Johnson’s nephew found him unresponsive inside a Los Angeles store earlier this month, according to a report from TMZ. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 55 years old.
Speaking to TMZ via video conference, an emotional Mason called out Johnson’s “fake” friends and supporters, asking them “Where is the love?”
“Y’all say y’all love him,” Mason said before asking: “Where is the love?”
She also expressed her need for financial assistance to give her husband a proper homegoing service.
“I’m asking for help but if I don’t get it, it’s fine … because I’m not leaving my husband in there like that,” Mason said. “We’re going to have a service. I’m going to do everything I know he would have done for me.”
Johnson did not have a life insurance policy and Mason said it has been “hurtful” that people are vowing to help but not immediately coming through.
“It’s people that’s saying that they’re gonna give money,” said Mason. “We haven’t received it.”
Mason said she wants to bury Johnson at the Rose Hills cemetery in California.
“If you guys want to give what they want to give, I will appreciate it,” Mason said. “But please stop the fake love, please stop the fake calls, please stop the fake texts.”
Johnson’s cause of death was not immediately reported.
Johnson’s career was launched after he landed a role as E.Z.E. in the 1990 Kid ‘N Play comedy House Party, theGrio previously reported. He went on to do stand-up across the city of L.A. and also appeared in Lethal Weapon 3 and Menace II Society before his best-known turn starring as Ezal in the hit 1995 film Friday, directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh.
Johnson also starred in B.A.P.S., playing the love interest of Natalie Desselle-Reid, the actress who passed away in December of last year after a long bout with colon cancer.
“He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold,” BH Talent agency rep LyNea Bell said in a statement confirming Johnson’s death. “We will be in constant prayer for his entire family including his wife Lexis, three children, brother Edward ‘Peanut’ Smith, sister Sheila, and lifetime manager and friend Mike D. Please give them the time they need to process and grieve such a huge loss.”
This article features additional reporting by theGrio’s Biba Adams
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