Jacqueline Avant, the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed during a home invasion robbery in Beverly Hills early Wednesday morning. She was 81. Avant and Clarance’s daughter, Nicole Avant, is married to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. A Netflix representative told The Hollywood Reporter Clarance was not injured during the robbery.
The Beverly Hills Police Department received a call at about 2:23 a.m. reporting a shooting on Maytor Place. When police arrived, they found a gunshot wound victim who was taken to a nearby hospital. The victim died of their wounds. The documents obtained by THR did not identify Avant as the victim. The suspects were also not at the scene when the police arrived. “The City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Police Department extends our deepest sympathies to the victim’s families,” BHPD Lt. Giovanni Trejo told THR in a statement.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ, which first reported Avant’s death, that a security guard was shot during the robbery as well and did not return fire. The suspected shooter got inside the Avants’ home when at the time of the shooting, sources told the outlet. It is not clear how many suspects are involved. NBC Los Angeles published a photo of their home, showing the sliding backdoor window smashed open.
Clarance, 90, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October as the recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. He is known as the “Godfather of Black Music” as he helped launch the careers of countless Black musicians and music executives, including Bill Withers, Michael Jackson, L.A. Reid, and Babyface. He also established the first African American-owned FM radio station in Los Angeles during the 1970s and founded his Sussex Records and Taboo Records. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016. He married Jackie in 1967. In addition to Nicole, they are also parents to son Alexander Du Bois Avant.
Nicole served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas during President Barack Obama’s first term in office. She married Sarandos in 2009. Nicole also produced the 2019 Netflix documentary about her father’s legacy, The Black Godfather.
Avant was known for her philanthropy, supporting the South Central Community Child Care Center as president of the Neighbors of Watts. She was also a member of the International Student Center at UCLA’s board of directors. In January 2020, Nicole told NBC News that her mother was responsible for her love of the arts. “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,” she said at the time.