The Big Cigar True Story: What happened to Huey P. Newton's real-life wife Gwen Fontaine?

The Big Cigar is a true story based on the Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton’s escape to Cuba with the help of his Hollywood film-maker Bert Schneider

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One of the much-awaited series of the year that the Americans were waiting for, The Big Cigar was released on Apple TV on May 17, 2024. The Big Cigar is a limited series with the first two episodes directed and executive produced by multi-award winner Don Cheadle. The Big Cigar is a true story based on the Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton’s escape to Cuba with the help of his Hollywood film-maker Bert Schneider. Talking about The Big Cigar's characters guide, it features Andre Holland as Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton, Tiffany Boone as Gwen Fontaine, Alessandro Nivola as Bert Schneider, Marc Menchaca as Sydney Clark, P. J. Byrne as Stephen Blauner and more in the leading roles. Since you have landed on this page, True Scoop News assumes that you already know about The Big Cigar true Story and are wondering about Huey P. Newton's wife Tiffany Boone. Below is all about real-life Tiffany Boone- 

Who was Gwen Fontaine and what happened to her?

Gwen Fontaine was the wife of Huey P. Newton. Gwen Fontaine fled to Cuba along with her husband Huey P. Newton. Huey P. Newton founded The Black Panthers along with Bobby Seale in Oakland, California, in 1966. The Black Panthers aimed to combat police brutality and support minority communities through programs like street patrols, free breakfasts, and medical clinics. However, due to these initiatives, depicted in The Big Cigar, the Black Panthers came under the FBI's radar during the Cold War for their association with communist ideals and the group's militant appearance.

In 1974 after facing new legal troubles, Huey P. Newton needed to leave the U.S. His film-maker friend Schneider and his Hollywood friends made an elaborate plan and decided to make a fake movie titled The Big Cigar, to smuggle Newton to Cuba for political asylum. Despite setbacks, including a boat mishap, Newton eventually made it to Mexico and then Cuba, where he lived in exile for three years.

For the unversed, Gwen fled with Newton to Cuba.

What happened to Newton and his wife Gwen?

Newton spent three years in exile in Cuba—cutting sugarcane and repairing trucks. Times reported that Schneider visited him there, along with Hollywood stars Candice Bergen and Francis Ford Coppola. When Newton finally returned to the U.S., in 1977, he was acquitted of charges of assault and murder. About a decade later, in 1989, he was fatally shot by an Oakland drug dealer. 

After spending some years in Cuba, Gwen and Newton started to be apart.  The couple returned to America in 1977. Newton and Gwen stayed together for a few more years. Huey’s struggle with alcohol and drugs was one of the reasons behind the deterioration of his relationship with Gwen. Another thing that may have caused tension in their marriage is Huey’s relationship with Fredrika Newton.

Huey and Frederika had known each other for years and had briefly dated before breaking up, especially after Frederika left the Black Panther party. However. Newton's drug problem reportedly resulted in the failure of his relationships with both Frederika and Gwen.  Frederika reportedly ended up dating Huey’s bodyguard for the next few years. Meanwhile, things with Gwen also came to an end, and the couple divorced in 1983.

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