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Inside Sidney Poitier’s Steamy Extramarital Affair with Diahann Carroll That Almost Lasted a Decade

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In his lifetime, legendary actor Sidney Poitier had a steamy affair with actress Diahann Carroll while he was still married. Get inside the controversial Sidney Poitier extramarital affair. 

Iconic American actor Sidney Poitier died at 94 on January 6, 2022. In his lifetime, he made history as the first Black actor and Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. 

Having lived for over nine decades, Poitier achieved so much and made many memories in his lifetime including getting married twice and being involved in a steamy extramarital affair with actress Diahann Carroll.

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Even though Carroll and Poitier’s relationship did not end up in matrimony, they became friends later. 


Carroll was an American actress, model, and activist. Like Poitier, she made history by becoming the first Black woman to star in a TV show in a non-servant role.

Some of the films she starred in include “Carmen Jones,” and “Porgy & Bess” in the 1950s. She also starred in television shows like “A Different World,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “White Collar.” 

Carroll won several awards in her lifetime for her numerous achievements but died at 84 in 2019 after battling cancer.

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Poitier and Carroll met on the “Porgy & Bess” set in 1959. Then, Poitier was still married to his first wife, Juanita Hardy, with whom he shared four daughters. Meanwhile, Carroll was married to a music manager named Monte Kay. 

Although Poitier and Carroll were married to their respective partners, they had an instant connection with each other and spent much time talking to each other. 

Poitier was smitten by Carroll’s amazing cheekbones, mysterious eyes, and perfect teeth. He also fell for her sensual nature, and so the pair began an extramarital affair.


Poitier and Carroll started dating after going out for dinner and realizing they wanted to be with each other. 

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Poitier once revealed that as he got to know Carroll, he realized she was one of the brightest women he had ever known. Also, Carroll once said she was too immature then and a romantic at heart. Hence, she fell for Poitier’s charms.

In her revelatory 2008 memoir “The Legs Are The Last To Go,” Carroll wrote that she and Poitier resolved they would leave their respective partners and eventually get married. So Carroll did as they agreed and split from her husband. 

After separating from Kay, Poitier got ready to move into an apartment that Poitier paid for. However, he reneged on their deal and called to tell her that he was having second thoughts about their relationship and would not leave his wife. 

Carroll also revealed that Poitier changed the locks of the apartment he paid for to prevent her from gaining entrance. 

She added that he made her write him a check to offset his purchase and decorating costs, which she did because of her submissiveness and desperation. 

Eventually, Poitier split from Hardy in 1965. But after doing so, he purportedly told Carroll he was not eager to jump straight into another marriage. 

Carroll started dating other men after Poitier told her that, and he did not like it. She wrote that he called her and shouted at her while she was in a hotel.

He said he would not let her be with other men because she belonged to him. Allegedly, their relationship ended after that. 


With the way their relationship turned out, one would think Poitier and Carroll would never be friends again. However, the pair rekindled their friendship in the final years of their lives. 

Once, Carroll revealed that they were now friends. She explained that as people age, they learn to forgive and relax their standards. 

After their separation, Poitier got married for the second time to Joanna Shimkus in 1976 and remained with her until his death. Meanwhile, Carroll married three more times and never remarried after her fourth divorce in 1996. 

Although Poitier and Carroll’s relationship did not last, it is good that the pair were amicable towards the end of their lives and died on good terms. May their souls continually rest in peace. 

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