Nollywood veteran actor Pete Edochie has distanced himself from his last son, Yul’s decision to pick Judy Austin as a second wife.
In an interview with renowned media personality Chude Jideonwo @chudeity, Edochie said he has five sons and he never interferes in their business unless they inform him. He said he heard that Yul had picked a second wife just like every other person heard.
He said: “First of all, Yul is 41. I really don’t really interfere in his affairs. Suddenly we heard he has picked up a second wife. It is like when he wanted to run for governor it something, when I saw the photograph I thought it was a production.
“It was somebody who phoned me and said do you know Yul is running for governor and I said you must be crazy, how?…. I never heard it. And I have five sons, I don’t interfere with their lives… We just heard it and that’s it.”
The movie thespian spoke glowingly of May, his son’s first wife, saying: “Mary is not just a daughter-in-law, I don’t want to say that I love Mary more than the other wives of my sons. But the love I have for Mary is so strong; 1. The father and I were very close and we went for their traditional rite in their place, the kind of reception their people gave me I will never forget.
“Mary I love to the marrow. By the way she is a wonderful person. Mary is a very very brilliant girl you may not know that. Mary us a computer wizard, that lady you are looking at and to a very large extent, the success of that home is to Mary’s credit. But again things like this happen, and it is so difficult to convince her that you are not….”
He went on to say that many people have been advising May wrongly by trying to put asunder her union with Yul and that most of the women advising her do not have happy homes.
He also expressed shock at the rate of failed marriages in his industry.
The 76-year-old, in the interview, said he was surprised to learn that some of his female colleagues have either been separated or divorced from their husbands.
He revealed likely reasons behind the increased rates of divorces among Nollywood acts.
The father-of-six, who has been married to his wife Josephine for over 50 years, said: “If you come to our industry today, most of our girls who got married some 23 years ago have all left their husbands, from beginning to end. I am even shocked to hear that Chioma Chukwuka also left her husband, Ireti Doyle, and Tonto Dikeh; they’ve all left their husband.
“You know a vow is taken when you get married, for better for worst, not for better for us; for better for worst. You would always think that it is greener on the other side, and that is the mistake they all made.”
The Anambra-State-born veteran actor also revealed his favourite colleague, whom he enjoys working with.
He said: “Of all the girls who have played my daughter in films, somehow it’s Genevieve Nnaji that I think I love the most. I have come to look at her as a daughter, and she sees me as a father. She is a very exceptionally brilliant lady.
“Although I have not heard from her lately, ever since I heard that she was a little disturbed, I don’t know how true, but I hope one day she calls me and says I am okay. I have tried calling her.”
The veteran actor, whose career has spanned over 43 years, was recently featured in Genevieve Nnaji’s 2018 Netflix movie, ‘ Lion Heart’.
Aside from marriage, the actor, who began his career as a professional journalist in 1967, spoke about his foray into acting, albeit Nollywood.
Speaking about how he transitioned into acting, he said he broke the news to his wife, who in turn encouraged and reaffirmed her confidence in his abilities and talents.
“I was sitting down with my wife in the parlour. Somebody came from Lagos, gave me a bank cheque of N50,000, and said, come to Lagos and act in a film for me; then my salary as a director in a media house was N9,000 monthly.
“I landed in Lagos, I was doing the film, and then Chico Ejiro gave me a script and N100,000. I got into his set, and then his brother Zeb brought another script, ‘ Close Chapter,’ and he gave me N150,000. By the end of that year, I had earned N750,000, whereas my salary as a director then was N9,000 monthly.’’
The veteran, the father of controversial Nollywood actor Yul, also narrated how he had escaped death twice in a road accident.
He said: “On the 14th day of March 1977, at Agwali road, I drove under a stationary trailer in the night and by the grace of God, I came out alive. There was a time when I was coming from Nsukka, and I fell asleep on the wheel and I ran into a trailer, but I came out alive.”
He was also kidnapped in August 2009, but he was later released unharmed.
The revered actor, known for his iconic movie roles, also spoke about the 2023 elections.
He said: “Overseas observers used one word to describe the elections; it lacked transparency. When a white man tells you that something lacks transparency, it simply means such a thing is not clear.
“There is something that Peter Obi said; he said, ‘ I am not querying whosoever was proclaimed the president, no, I am bothered about the process that made the person the president, that is how a brilliant man talks.”