Football commentator and former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson allegedly bullied rocker Janis Joplin when they were students at the same Texas high school, according to a new book.
Janis: Her Life and Music, scheduled to be released Oct. 22, claims that a young Johnson ruthlessly hounded the future singer by making crude sexual remarks, throwing pennies at her, and making fun of her hippie style, according to an early look obtained by The Daily Mail.
Both attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas, during the late 50s. While Johnson was a student athlete who socialized primarily with jocks and cheerleaders, Joplin was more introverted and tended toward the arts.
Johnson would grow up to become a college and NFL coach, serving as head coach for the Cowboys and seeing the team to two Super Bowl victories. He later became head coach for the Miami Dolphins. Johnson currently serves as a commentator for Fox NFL Sunday.
The new book by Holly George-Warren alleges that Johnson nicknamed Joplin “Beat Weeds” in a crude reference to her pubic hair, according to the Mail.
Johnson has admitted on Twitter that he gave her the nickname. He also said that he “kidded” Joplin a lot, and that she was an “odd duck” who wore black leotards.
“@joeirrera: high school classmate of Janis Joplin! Your followers would love some inside info on that.”I gave her Nickname "Beat Weeds"!
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) April 29, 2012
“@Dustin_Mattison: Your classmate Janis Joplin is 69 today. How well did you know her?”fairly well..kidded her alot
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) January 19, 2012
“@danks231: what was Janis Joplin like in high school?”odd duck..weed..black leotards..
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) November 26, 2011
The new book claims that Johnson also tried to grope Joplin, along with his friends, and spread rumors that the future singer had slept with their friends.
By Joplin’s senior year, she had become “the image of everything the students disliked,” according to the book.
Janis Joplin rose to fame as a counter-culture icon, performing rock, folk and blues songs to great acclaim. She died at 27 in 1970 of a heroin overdose.