Jones on Jamaican Coke Bust: ‘Someone Put It There’

Times Staff Writer

Grace Jones, who spent three days in a Jamaican jail on suspicion of cocaine possession, is determined to turn adversity into advantage.

Released on $2,700 bail Tuesday, Jones, 36, has decided to return to the Kingston jail in which she languished this weekend to film videos for two cuts on her upcoming album, tentatively titled “On My Way,” which is due out in June.

She also made good use of her time in jail, writing six songs for a future album and completing a storyboard for a video, she said good-naturedly in a telephone interview from her home in Jamaica.


The flamboyant singer-actress and her husband of 15 months, Chris Stanley, had gone there to scout video locations, she said.

“Something strange always happens to me when I come to Jamaica,” said Jones, a native of Jamaica who moved to New York when she was 12.

On Saturday, police searched the couple’s house--which includes their Music Mountain Recording Studio--in the Kingston suburb of Stony Hill, confiscated .006 ounces of cocaine and arrested her.

The often-outrageous Jones grew serious when discussing the drug charges.

“You hear about this and oh, it looks so bad,” she said. “The way it comes over the radio, it’s like you’re guilty before you’re even tried. But I just hold my head up high because I know inside me that I am innocent and it will be proven.”

She said that the cocaine, which police found wrapped in two Jamaican $2 bills and stuffed inside her purse, was planted there by someone.

“There’s definite third party involvement,” she said several times during the interview. “This will be proven in court. Someone put it there.”

Jones said that the identity of the person will be revealed during her trial, which is scheduled to start June 6 in Kingston.

If convicted on the charge of cocaine possession, she would probably be fined rather than sentenced to more jail time because of the small quantity of drugs involved, officials said.

Ironically, a song on her new album is titled “Crack Attack” and warns against the perils of drug abuse.

Mindful of her exotic and trend-setting image, Jones emphasized that she has long denounced the use of drugs: “I was never an abuser. I’ve seen what it’s done to other people, and that’s enough to frighten me.

“I don’t even smoke pot. I have a drink and that’s about it. I like tequila. When I want to binge, I’ll just go to tequila.”

She has already informed jail officials of her plans to film the videos for “Crack Attack” and “Kicked Around” at their facility.

What was their reaction?

“They sounded delighted,” she said.

The “Kicked Around” lyrics were particularly evocative of the way Jones felt during her stay behind bars:

I’ve been kicked around

I’ve been bounced around

I never thought that I could fall

Thought I was standing tall

It turns out that I’m the ball and I’ve been kicked around.

Although she regarded her jail time as “quite an experience,” she laughed when she considered the misfortunes that so often befall her when she visits Jamaica.

“It’s part of my Jamaican saga,” said Jones, who spends most of the year in New York or Los Angeles. “But I refuse to stop coming.”

She colorfully recounted those earlier episodes in the saga: She was robbed in the middle of eating dinner. She was run over by a speedboat. She was stranded on a reef while sailing. She was thrown off an American Airlines flight because she refused to check some master recording tapes through the luggage carrier.

Jones said she thought about never going back to Jamaica, but consulted a fortuneteller a couple years ago who told her she should go back “and face it positively.”

Shortly thereafter, she returned to Jamaica for the funeral of a family member and met her husband.

Given her propensity to find the bright moment among the bleak ones, she said she expects that something positive will come out of her arrest.

Said Jones: “I don’t know what it is yet, but I will know it when it happens.”