Nicole Avant Decided Against ‘Victimhood’ After Her Mother’s Home-Invasion Murder: ‘I’m Not Going to Suffer to Be Sane’ | Video

Jacqueline Avant, the wife of the late Motown legend Clarence Avant, died after the Beverly Hills break-in two years ago Friday

Nicole Avant, the daughter of the late Motown music legend Clarence Avant and philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, says after her mother was killed by a home-invasion assailant two years ago she coped by making a reasoned effort not to be overwhelmed by feelings of victimhood.

“I don’t want to sit in darkness, and I don’t want to sit in victimhood,” Avant told Bill Maher on his “Club Random” podcast show. “I can’t. I’m like, you know what I had to decide Bill? I’m not going to suffer to be sane. I’m not suffering for my sanity. That, I’m not doing.”

Jacqueline Avant died at 81 on Dec. 1, 2021, after a man broke into her Beverly Hills home and shot her in the back. The man, who last year was sentenced to a 190-year prison term, had later in the night shot himself accidentally while breaking into a Hollywood Hills home and was eventually apprehended.

“So that, I had to decide very early on,” Nicole Avant said of her approach to grieving her mother’s death. “And I thought, ‘OK, I can talk about her, I can celebrate her, I can talk about everything that everyone asks me about her anyway.’”

Avant, who is married to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, said that her approach was a “conscious decision,” repeating Maher’s phrase and agreeing with his assertion that those kind of choices make up many of life’s biggest moments.

“It’s a very conscious decision to be a victim,” Maher added. “Or not to be.”

“Yes, a hundred percent,” Avant said. “And people don’t like to hear that. People don’t want to think they have a choice, they have a decision.”

Avant, whose father Clarence died in August at 92, continued, saying “the only thing I can rule is my atmosphere, which is my consciousness, my heart. It’s the only thing I can do. So if I’ve been given that power, then I’m going to use it.”

Maher also pointed out that people were surprised to learn how many home invasions were occurring in wealthy Los Angeles neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills.

“Well, it’s because that’s where the money is,” Maher said. “Why do you rob banks? It’s where the money is.”

“And I think people were surprised, or at least they told me afterwards, ‘Oh my gosh, things have been happening in Beverly Hills, in Brentwood, in the Palisades,’” Avant said. “And you know, people felt badly they didn’t want their neighbors to know — ‘didn’t want to hurt things.’ What do you mean you didn’t want to hurt things? You should warn people around you.”

Avant appeared on Maher’s show as part of a media tour for her recently released book, “Think You’ll Be Happy: Moving Through Grief with Grit, Grace, and Gratitude.” The show aired Thursday after it was taped earlier in November.

After Maher complimented Avant’s writing, she thanked him and said it was the first significant writing project she had undertaken.

“I liked writing when I was growing up and did short essays and things like that,” Avant said. “But I had so many topics of things I wanted to write about, and I thought, ‘Oh … now it gives me the answer of what I’ve been trying to write.”

Watch the full 1 hour and 9 minute interview at the top of this post.


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