Fran Lucas wife Julianna Farrait fell madly in love with Harlem drug trafficker Frank Lucas in the 1960s and then eventually she started dealing drugs herself. She is the former beauty queen from Puerto Rico.
Frank Lucas was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2007 movie American Gangster. Julianna is a strong woman who stood besides Frank without any fail. But who was the woman described herself and Frank as the Black Bonnie and Clyde?
In 2010, Frank published his autobiography and was a paid consultant for American Gangster. Frank loves to talk about his rise as well as fall.
Despite, Julianna had played crucial role in Frank’s drug empire, she was kept in shadows in his film as well as in autobiography.
This is the tale of Frank Lucas wife, Julianna Farrait who was the Puerto Rican Beauty queen and became Frank’s life partner as well as crime partner.
How Julianna Did Become Frank Lucas Wife?
Frank Lucas has died in 2019, and described his early years in rich detail. He said that his crime life has started after KKK murdered his cousin and he had to find a way at any cost to make ends meet for his family.
Julianna was born in around 1941 in Puerto Rico. She has lived her first part of life in relative anonymity. Her life has changed when she crossed her path with Frank on a flight from Puerto Rico to New York.
Frank wrote in his autobiography that –
Cute girl, too,”, Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America’s Most Notorious Drug Lords. “Every time I turned around to check her out, she was smiling at me. I didn’t need any more of a hint.”
In 1967, the duo struck up a conversation and found that the attraction was mutual. They were married and welcomed their daughter in 1985. Julie Lucas told the Village voice in 2007 that –
“The first time I met Frank, I was completely taken back by his confidence and coolness,” “He was a very self-assured man, which I found very attractive. And I still do.”
But this couple had been came from totally different worlds. Despite of being beautiful, Julianna had been a homecoming queen and not Miss Puerto Rico as the movie suggests. Julie also has simple tastes.
Frank wrote that –
“I liked Julie, but she was a country girl,”. “There was nothing fabulous about her. Her clothes were boring and basic and not good quality. I had to get her fixed up so she could look the part of Frank Lucas’s wife.”
At the time when the duo tied a knot, Frank was struggling for building his drug empire. He soon going to start his Blue Magic heroin to Harlem from southeast Asia.
How Did a Coat Helped Trigger Frank Lucas’s Downfall?
Frank Lucas’s power grew day by day from 1960’s to 1970s. With ample amount of money to burn, he frequently doted on his wife and gave Julianna luxurious and extravagant gifts.
“I always remember the antique cream Mercedes that Frank bought for me after I had Francine,” Julianna told this to the Village Voice. “That ride was so gorgeous because the interior was pure leather and drove so smoothly.”
Though, Frank was always looking to outspend the people surrounding him. In 1970, Frank was infuriated to show up to a Mohammad Ali fight in Atlanta and find other drug dealers wearing expensive mink coats.
“There is no such thing as outtalking me, outhustling me, outthinking me, or outdressing me,” Lucas wrote. “I could not have people who made less money than me walking around thinking they ruled the world. I screamed it out to all who would listen: ‘Ya’ll think you gone outshine me? Bring that ass to New York City, and I will show every last one of ya’ll who the boss is.’”
Julianna’s Big Incident –
Julie was quite sensitive about this insecurity and so came up with the solution. In 1971, for the Muhammad Ali- Joe Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden she had get her husband a beautiful extravagant coat.
She has bought a chinchilla coat of worth around $125,000 and a matching hat of $40,000 from a Jewish shop in Manhattan. Frank has proudly wore it to the fight but also attracted the wrong kind of attention.
That night, there were several detectives in the audience who noticed Frank Lucas. They have not only noticed Frank wearing expensive coat but they also noticed that he has better seats that Frank Sinatra.
“Law enforcement knew of him,” explained prosecutor Richie Roberts, who was played by Russell Crowe in American Gangster. “But certainly it brought a lot more attention onto him, that coat.”
Frank added: “You don’t go around showing that kind of money when the people who are trying to arrest you are making in those days $25,000 a year, and you’re showing a coat that’s like five years’ salaries. It gets these guys a little angry. So, it was a bad mistake.”
Julie Lucas seconded Roberts, telling the Village Voice, “I often think back to that particular gift many times. I don’t believe it helped the police notice who he was, because, by then, they were already suspicious, but I do believe it brought attention from others – both positive and negative.”
Sadly, neither Frank nor Julianna Lucas had much time left. In 2019 Frank Lucas died. And there is not much information about Julie Lucas’s death. The New York Times reported that she has died before Frank Lucas.