There is no end to the bizarre and fascinating revelations in Matthew McConaughey's new memoir, Greenlights, but if we had to rank them, the tale of his dad's death-by-sex has to rank in any Top 5 list.
As McConaughey tells it, his parents, Jim and Kay, had a passionate but turbulent relationship. The couple shared three marriages and two divorces, and from the very first chapter of his book, their youngest son makes that volatility clear. He writes that in 1974, he watched the pair escalate a spat at the dinner table into a full-blown brawl. His mother broke his dad's nose with a telephone; for his part, Jim brandished a ketchup bottle and doused her with the condiment.
But that's not even the wild part.
"Seconds later, they moved toward each other and met in an animal embrace," writes McConaughey. "They dropped to their knees, then to the bloody, ketchup-covered linoleum kitchen floor ... and made love."
McConaughey knew there was only one thing that could take his father out of this world: his mother. "He'd always told me and my brothers, 'Boys, when I go, I'm gonna be makin' love to your mother.'"
Apparently, he got his wish. In 1992, while McConaughey was on the set of Dazed and Confused, he received the news. "When [Jim] woke up that morning at 6:30 a.m., feeling frisky, he made love to ... his wife, Kay, my mom," McConaughey writes. "He'd had a heart attack when he climaxed. Yes, he'd called his shot all right."
Kay does not dispute the account. In an e-mailed statement to the New York Times, she writes: “It was a rocky and passionate love affair we had, but I do wish Matthew would have told more of the stories about me and his dad’s love, affection, and commitment to each other.” However, she adds, “What has remained consistent in Matthew’s life is his honesty and being true to himself, knowing who he was and owning it.”
These days, McConaughey is playing matchmaker for his mom. In a January interview with Entertainment Tonight, he and Hugh Grant joked about setting their parents up on a date. "[Hugh's] father's 91, my mother's 88," McConaughey said. "Yeah, why not? Next week, they're supposed to meet, and we probably won't see them for the rest of the night."