For over four decades, American pornography publisher, Larry Flynt has amassed enormous wealth from his sexually explicit magazine, Hustler. Larry released the first issue of the magazine in 1974. The publication has since metamorphosed into a lucrative and lasting enterprise despite its high level of unacceptability and numerous controversies. Joining Larry Flynt in this infamous business a few years after its inception was Althea Flynt whom he met at one of his Hustler clubs, the original franchise that birthed the Hustler magazine.
Throughout her years as Larry Flynt’s wife, Althea proved to be the best choice for her husband’s obscene enterprises. Meanwhile, her death has continued to be a subject of discussion, despite occurring more than three decades ago. Here, we bring you all the truth you need to know about Althea Flynt and how she died.
The Horrifying Background Of Althea Flynt
The story of Althea Flynt is an unfortunate one characterized by a series of sad events that started unfolding right from childhood. She was born as Althea Leasure on the 6th of November, 1953, in Marietta, Ohio, United States. Althea was one of the four children of Richard Leasure and his wife, June. She had two sisters named Sherry and Debbie, and a brother named Richard. As earlier mentioned, Althea’s life was laden with “a series of unfortunate events“.
The first tragic event that occurred in her life was that her father, Richard shot her mother, June dead, alongside her father (Althea’s grandfather), and best friend before shooting himself dead too. Althea’s grandmother only escaped by hiding in a sheltered ditch close-by. This gruesome event happened when Althea was just eight, leaving her and her three siblings without parents and homeless.
Following the tragedy, the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Orphanage (OSSO) in Xenia, Ohio took in the four orphaned kids. While at the orphanage, Althea Leasure went through ugly experiences at the homes of potential adopters, including sexual abuse. This caused her to run away from the children’s home on several occasions.
How Althea Flynt Met and Married Larry Flynt
Precisely at 17, Leasure applied for a go-go dancing job at one of the Hustler nightclubs in Columbus, Ohio. It was through this that she met Larry Flynt who had threatened to fire her and only take her back when she clocked 18. But instead of carrying out his threats, Larry rather fell for Althea, citing her intelligence and childlike behavior as the attraction. The duo began a romantic relationship and later got married in 1976, on August 21.
On marrying Larry Flynt, Althea became his fourth wife. She also joined his Hustler business, helping with its development, editing, publication, and management. Althea also modeled for the magazine, becoming its debut life-size centerfold. She was also the one who oversaw the business all through the time her husband was going through psychological issues between 1977 and 1984.
Althea not only ran her husband’s Hustler empire successfully, but she also took care of the porn king who became confined to the house and on a wheelchair following a gunshot wound in 1978 that left him paralyzed and in intermittent excruciating pains. She also made a failed attempt at creating The Rage, a porn-free magazine through which she hoped to publish the Punk subculture.
How Althea Flynt Died
Flynt’s downward movement to the grave began in the early 1980s when she delved into substance abuse and addiction. This was after she started taking a variety of pain relievers her husband used to sooth his bullet injury. The hard drugs included morphine, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, and so on.
By 1983, Althea was diagnosed with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). According to the Hustler co-publisher, she contracted the incurable disease through a blood transfusion she received during surgery, precisely a hysterectomy, insisting that she never used second-hand needles for drugs.
After about four years of living with AIDS, Althea Flynt died on the 27th of June, 1987, aged 33. It was, however, not AIDS that took her life. Althea drowned in her bathtub at Larry Flynt’s home in Bel-Air, Los Angeles where the couple lived.
Following investigations including pathological and autopsical examinations, reports concluded that Althea had a prescription drug overdose which caused her to pass out in the tub. Being unconscious, she eventually drowned.
Althea and Larry were married for eleven years and had no kids together. Several years after her death, Flynt married Elizabeth Berrios, his fifth and current wife.