Getty Images | twitter.com/ladailynews
Getty Images | twitter.com/ladailynews

Jenifer Lewis Was Once Conned by an Ex-lover Who Is Now in Prison

Bettina Dizon
Jan 25, 2022
12:37 P.M.

"Black-ish" star Jenifer Lewis revealed that her ex-lover swindled $50,000 from her. She discovered that he was a con artist and ex-convict the same day her mother died.


Being fooled by a loved one would have a lasting damaging effect on anyone. Trust may be much more difficult to give, and self-doubt will become more prevalent when making choices after being betrayed. This was the experience of American actress Jenifer Lewis.

Known as "The Mother of Black Hollywood," Lewis made a mistake by falling in love with the wrong man. Not only did he break her heart, but he also took thousands from the star's pocket in an attempt to defraud her. Following her shocking past, Lewis came forward with her story.

Jenifer Lewis and her former lover, Tony Wilson, in a side-by-side photo. | Source: Getty Images & Twitter.com/ladailynews

Jenifer Lewis and her former lover, Tony Wilson, in a side-by-side photo. | Source: Getty Images & Twitter.com/ladailynews


Lewis' ex-lover, Tony Wilson, was an LA Fitness manager when they met in April 2015. It seemed like fate when they struck up a conversation and had many things in common, but little did Lewis know that Wilson had already done his research on her. She said:


"He listened to every interview I'd ever done. He saw me working out in LA Fitness and researched me. And the first thing he said was, 'I like your hair.' I found that very interesting. But he knew that I had been promoting natural hair."

The pair kept close contact even when Lewis had to travel for work. The turning point of their relationship was when she met his sweet and kind-hearted children, whom he shares with his alleged ex-wife. Wilson used his kids to further his plans and fully persuade Lewis to open her heart and her wallet.

Actress Jenifer Lewis attends the premiere of "Cars 3" at Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

Actress Jenifer Lewis attends the premiere of "Cars 3" at Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images


Lewis agreed to invest in Wilson's business and their future together. She took out $50,000 wholeheartedly, knowing that Wilson was a man who worked to support his children and loved her.


The actress's hope to see Wilson go down for his crimes came to fruition following reports that the con man was arrested by authorities and pleaded guilty to his charges,

But on September 11, 2015, Lewis came to learn the truth. It had only been a few hours after her mother died when she discovered that Wilson was a con artist and a convicted felon. In addition, she learned that his real identity was Brice Carrington and that he wasn't divorced.



Lewis reported him to his employer, LA Fitness, only to be rejected by the company. They protected Wilson and banned the actress from working out in their establishment. The "Black-ish" star filed a lawsuit against Wilson and LA Fitness at the Los Angeles Superior Court, ensuring that necessary action was taken.

The actress sued LA Fitness in her lawsuit for their role in protecting Wilson, claiming that they should never have employed such a person. She settled for $13,000 with the center but was determined to see Wilson face the consequences of his actions.



It turned out that Wilson defrauded four women, including Lewis, from 2015 to 2018. All victims fell for his romantic gestures and lies, such as he was a Navy SEAL, an Oxford University graduate, and an Oxford professor teaching at UCLA.

Wilson used fake companies such as Ultimate FX and 2nd Life, a sound design and software business, respectively, to lure them in. He also claimed that investors, where he, without permission, used names of real people, had valued his companies at millions of dollars.

Further, he wanted his victims to invest in expanding the said companies, but in reality, he used the money to fund himself and his expenses.



Wilson already spent a four-year term in prison after verifying his 2009 wire fraud and tax evasion charges. He duped investors $4 million and was released on patrol.

Wilson's criminal career spanned over 25 years, molding him to be skilled in swindling women. According to prosecutors of the US Attorney's Office Central District of California:

"[Wilson] not only conned people out of their money, but he also did so by betraying their trust and forging intimate relationships with them. The impact of such a fraud is more than financial; it is personal."



Despite the pain, the actress is not embarrassed by what happened to her. She says she had many things to be grateful for in her life. She wanted to share her story because she wanted to spread awareness and stand up for other women despite the experience of humiliating her.

The actress's hope to see Wilson go down for his crimes came to fruition following reports that the con man was arrested by authorities and pleaded guilty to charges bordering on wire fraud involving four ex-girlfriends, including Lewis.

As Lewis wanted and deserved, Wilson was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay $272,000 in restitution.



Lewis has since been better and is much happier with her life. At the age of 65, she is strong and healthy, as seen on her Instagram posts. In one of her tagged videos, the actress was filmed doing a perfect split ahead of her birthday.

It seems the past never let Lewis affect her, just how it should be. "The Princess and the Frog" star is not the only person who fell victim to such a scam. Previously, a 53-year-old nurse was also conned by a man pretending to be her son. The woman ended up losing over $2,778 to an internet fraudster.

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