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Arsenio Hall Recalls Trying Cocaine for First Time with Richard Pryor

Arsenio Hall smiling
Arsenio Hall / Getty

*Arsenio Hall took the stage at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles Monday and during his set, the comedian recalled the moment he first tried cocaine. 

As Page Six reports, Hall pointed to a small booth in the back of the comedy club and said he first tried coke in that very sport “at the behest of the late Richard Pryor,” the outlet writes. Hall told the crowd that Stevie Wonder was playing the piano nearby and didn’t notice when Pryor handed Hall a “rock” and a $100 bill.

Wonder was apparently oblivious as Hall snorted the white powder, the funnyman said during his stand-up comedy set Monday night.

The “Coming to America” star hosted the “Arsenio Hall Show” from 1989 to 1994 and after the late-night talk show went off the air in 1994, Hall laid low for many years. 

“I went on the internet, and read I was in detox at Betty Ford,” Hall said years later about his absence from the spotlight, per Page Six. 

“I got online under a fake name and typed in, ‘I know Arsenio better than anyone else, and he’s not in detox, you idiots!’” he added.

In 2017, late musician Sinéad O’Connor apologized publicly for saying Hall was Prince’s drug dealer, Page Six reported. 

Hall sued O’Connor for $5 million over a Facebook post in which she wrote, “Two words for the DEA investigating where Prince got his drugs . . . Arsenio Hall (a.k.a. Prince’s and Eddie Murphy’s bitch). Anyone imagining Prince was not a longtime hard drug user is living in cloud cuckoo land. Arsenio I’ve reported you.”

The Irish singer mocked Hall’s lawsuit, writing on Facebook in May 2016, “I’m more amused than I’ve ever dreamed … and look forward very much to how hilarious it will be watching him trying to prove me wrong.”

“I’m also very happy to notice that the DEA have taken me seriously enough to be thoroughly questioning all of Prince’s friends and aides from the last thirty years as to his KNOWN history of hard drug use and where he obtained his drugs,” she continued. “I do not like drugs killing musicians. And I do not like Arsenio Hall.”

O’Connor ultimately released a statement retracting her allegations. 

“I apologize for my Facebook posts about Arsenio Hall to the extent that anyone thought I was accusing him of acting as Prince’s drug dealer and supplying him with illegal hard drugs, or insinuating that Arsenio had something to do with Prince’s death,” she told TMZ.

“I sincerely apologize because those statements would be false,” she added, “and I retract them unequivocally.”

READ MORE: Richard Pryor is Back On Vinyl, Widow Says He is ‘Still the King’ | EUR Exclusive

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