In a exclusive interview, Cindy Charles – 2nd wife of singer Ray Charles – came clean about what she says is Ray’s ‘biggest secret.’ Cindy, who is the mother of 2 of Ray Charles’ 12 children, says that Charles was not actually blind.
“I didn’t know Ray when he was a child, but I can tell you what he told me,” said Cindy Charles. ”Pretending to be blind started out as just an elaborate hoax to get out of chores when he was just about seven years old. Ray’s mom was a strict, God-fearing woman, and she told Ray, ‘If I find out you’re lying about your eyes, boy, I’ll tan your hide and you’ll burn with the Devil for lying to your Mama!’ So that’s how it started, and that’s how it continued for so long.”
“All his life, he had to walk around, bumping into things, any time someone was around who didn’t know his secret. I’m not sure how many people knew that he could see perfectly, but it wasn’t long before Ray realized that being blind had it’s advantages – at least when the blindness wasn’t real,” continued Cindy Charles. “He could ‘accidently’ touch girls breasts – which coincidentally was how we met one night. Also, he didn’t have to get a job, so he was able to concentrate on his music.”
“All of that head bobbing back and forth when he played piano, well that was just part of the act. What you couldn’t see because of the dark glasses was that he was looking down to see what he was playing,” said former manager Joe Goldsmith. “The reason everybody who knew kept it a secret was the money – nobody wanted to stop that money train. Ray had 12 kids with 10 different women – that’s a lot of paying off. I know he was keeping me in the good life for quite awhile back in the day.”
“The money train has dried up, though, and why I’m telling this story,” said Cindy Charles. “Legend that he is, ain’t nobody buying Ray’s music anymore. Rap, hip-hop, and free music downloads stopped putting food on the table ages ago. If it hadn’t been for Jamie Foxx and that movie a few years back bringing Ray’s story to life on screen, I think I’d have spilled the beans a long time ago.”
Columbia Records and the Ray Charles estate deny all accusations made by Cindy Charles. “Nonsense” was their only comment.