Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Singer Freda Payne Drops Memoir, Reveals Secret Affair with US Senator John Tunney

Freda Payne, John Tunney, former U.S. senator from California
Getty via Zimbio/CBS News

*“Band of Gold” singer Freda Payne has penned a memoir called “Band of Gold” in which she writes of her affair with US Senator John Tunney back in the day.

Here’s more from Showbiz 411

He was a big deal then, the son of boxer Gene Tunney. He was also married. But she met him through Frank Sinatra at a charity event. When Holland-Dozier-Holland didn’t pay Freda for her hits, Tunney helped get her a top Hollywood lawyer who came, guns blazing, and got her a big settlement. It was Sinatra who pointed out to Freda that Tunney was head over heels for her. He was good-looking and had just been elected to the Senate from California after six years as a Congressman. Freda, who’d become a star, moved to Los Angeles and took up residence in the former home of Movie Star Maureen O’Hara. 

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Per the report, Payme writes of the affair:

It was starting to unravel at that point. When this happened,

Tunney and I had to take a break from seeing each other. After that,

our affair just started to fizzle and dissolve. I assumed he had been

approached about the knowledge of our love affair, and he figured

the relationship was way too risky, and could destroy his political


Later on he had an affair with the actress Elizabeth Ashley, and

I became insanely jealous.

I remember thinking to myself, “What does he want with that

old bitch? She’s six years older than me!” Ah, to be 30 again!

Years later, when John Tunney’s re-election came up, he lost. So,

he didn’t stay in office too long as a Senator.

Tunney died in 2018 of prostate cancer at age 83. His successful campaign for a California seat in the U.S. Senate inspired the 1972 Robert Redford film “The Candidate.”

Freda fell in love with Tunney, but she writes that she had other lovers, per the report. 

“I was in love with Quincy Jones too. I was so in love with him.  Those were my three big love affairs: Quincy Jones, Eddie Holland, and John Tunney,” she writes.

Her book is available on Amazon.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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