The Life and Death of Julianna Farrait, the Drug Queen Who Loved and Lost Frank Lucas

Julianna Farrait was a woman who loved and lost. She loved Frank Lucas, the notorious drug lord who ruled Harlem with his “Blue Magic” heroin. She lost him to the law, to prison, and eventually to death. Julianna herself died before Frank, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 88. But before she died, she lived a life of adventure, danger, and glamour. She was Julianna Farrait, the wife of the American gangster.

But who was this woman who followed her partner into a world of crime, violence, and addiction? How did she meet and fall in love with Frank Lucas, one of the most feared drug lords in America? What role did she play in his drug empire and what consequences did she face for his actions? These are some of the questions that this article will answer, as we reveal the captivating story of Julianna Farrait, a former homecoming queen from Puerto Rico who became the loyal accomplice of the man behind the notorious “Blue Magic” heroin.

Frank Lucas and his wife Julie Lucas at Madison Square Garden in 1971

This article will also explore how Julianna Farrait’s story was portrayed in the media and in the movies. In 2007, her life was adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster, American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Ruby Dee as the couple. The movie was a hit with critics and audiences, and brought renewed attention to their lives. But how accurate was the movie? How did it depict Julianna Farrait’s character, personality, and actions? And how did she feel about the movie? These are some of the questions that this article will compare and contrast, as we examine the real Julianna Farrait and the movie version of the wife of the American gangster.

Love and Drugs: The Story of Julianna and Frank Lucas

Julianna Farrait and Frank Lucas had a love story that began in the sky. They met on a plane from Puerto Rico to New York in the mid-1960s, when he was a rising Harlem drug lord and she was a stunning country girl. He was immediately smitten by her beauty and charm, and she was drawn to his confidence and charisma. He later wrote in his autobiography,

“Every time I turned around to check her out, she was smiling at me. I didn’t need any more of a hint.” 

They soon started a relationship that defied the dangers and challenges of his criminal life. They got married in 1967 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a simple ceremony attended by their family and close friends. They settled in a lavish mansion in New Jersey, where they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle funded by his drug empire. They also welcomed their daughter, Francine, in November 1972.

By the time they married, Frank Lucas had established his drug empire by importing heroin from Southeast Asia, using the coffins of dead American soldiers. He branded his product as “Blue Magic” and sold it at a lower price than his competitors. He claimed he could make up to $1 million a day from his business. He also lavished his wife with expensive gifts, such as jewelry, cars, and clothes. He taught her how to dress and act like the wife of a kingpin.

However, their lavish lifestyle also attracted unwanted attention. In 1971, Julianna and Frank attended the Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden. Julianna wore a fur coat and a matching hat that caught the eye of the police and the media. Frank later said that wearing that coat was the biggest mistake of his life, as it exposed him to his enemies and rivals.

The couple’s fortune turned in 1975 when federal agents stormed their New Jersey residence and took them into custody. They confiscated more than $500,000 in cash and drugs. Julianna tried to hide some of the money by throwing suitcases out of the bathroom window. However, her efforts were in vain, as the agents recovered all the money. Julianna faced arrest for her participation in her husband’s drug trade.

Frank and Julianna both faced long prison terms, but Frank cut a deal with the authorities and became a snitch in over a hundred cases. He got out of his 70-year sentence in 1981, while Julianna served her five-year term. They filed for divorce in 1976 but never finalized it. They were still married on paper.

Frank had to hide from his former associates, so he joined the witness protection program and moved to a secret location with Julianna and their daughter Francine. They hoped to start a new life, away from the drugs and the danger. But their past caught up with them. In 1984, Frank was busted again for trying to trade heroin and cash for cocaine. He went back to the slammer for seven years. Julianna had enough of troubles, so she took Francine and moved to Puerto Rico, where they lived for a few years. But she still loved Frank who was released in 1991, and later came back to America to be with him.

They moved to Newark, New Jersey, and tried to stay out of trouble. They also reconciled with their other children, whom they had abandoned during their drug days. Frank fathered seven children from his different relationships, including Frank Jr. and Ray.

In 2007, their story was adapted into a Hollywood movie, American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Ruby Dee as the couple. The movie was a critical and commercial success, and brought renewed attention to their lives.

American Gangster Movie and how Accurate was Julianna Farrait’s Life?

The movie American Gangster tells the story of Frank Lucas, a notorious drug lord who ruled Harlem in the 60s and 70s. However, the movie is not entirely accurate and has been criticized for fabricating or exaggerating some aspects of Lucas’s life and career. The movie also took some creative liberties with their story, such as changing Julianna’s name to Eva and making her a former Miss Puerto Rico.

In the movie, Eva is played by Lymari Nadal. She is a stunning Miss Puerto Rico who falls for Lucas and joins him in his criminal activities. She is shown as a glamorous and confident woman who enjoys the lavish lifestyle that Lucas provides for her. She is also involved in some of his drug deals and helps him hide his money from the authorities.

But the real Julianna Farrait was not a Miss Puerto Rico, but a homecoming queen from the island. She met Lucas on a plane from Puerto Rico to New York and married him in 1967. She had a daughter with him, Francine, in November 1972. She was not as flashy or sophisticated as the movie version of her. Lucas said that he had to “get her fixed up” so she could fit in his world. But Julianna still enjoyed the thrill and wealth of their golden days. She said in a 2008 interview with Primera Hora that she missed traveling and having diamonds and a Mercedes Benz.

“Those who say that money is not important are lying,” she said. “People say that money does not buy happiness. It doesn’t?”

In another interview with Voice Online, she talked about her love for Lucas:

“I have always loved Frank. Some call us the black Bonnie and Clyde because we have always stuck by one another.”

Julianna did not like the spotlight that came with their fame. She further added that she wanted a peaceful life.

“I’m a very shy woman. I have never liked a lot of fuss. Even at the premier of American Gangster, I made myself unknown because I did not want people to know who I was, because I suffer from panic attacks.”

What happened to Jullian Farrait? Where is she now?

Jullian raised their daughter Francine in Puerto Rico and America and later moved to New Jersey with Frank in 2006. She also took care of Frank’s son Ray from another relationship. Despite the movie’s exposure, Jullian continued her involvement in the drug business. In 2010, she was arrested for trying to sell 2 kg of cocaine at a hotel in Puerto Rico. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate narcotics law and was sentenced to five years in prison at the age of 65 in 2012. She expressed her regret and embarrassment to the judge in Manhattan Federal court and asked for leniency, saying:

“I’m embarrassed to be here in front of you at my age. I’d like to express my regret to my hubby… My husband is 81 years old, and I’d want to spend as much time with him as possible.”

However, she died before completing her sentence, though the exact details of her death are unknown. It is possible that she died in prison while still serving her sentence, but this has not been confirmed. Frank died later, on May 30, 2019, at the age of 88, from natural causes at a healthcare center in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. He was buried at the Holy Redeemer Cemetery in New Jersey. They left behind six children, one of whom, Francine Lucas-Sinclair, created a support group for children of incarcerated parents. Frank was also preceded in death by his youngest son, Ray.

The Legacy of the Lucas Family: How the Children of Julianna and Frank Lucas Live Their Lives

Frank Lucas had seven children from different relationships. He and his wife Julianna had a daughter named Francine Lucas-Sinclair, who witnessed her father’s crimes and later joined him in the witness protection program. She also created a website called Yellow Brick Road to help children of incarcerated parents. Frank Lucas Jr., one of his sons, pursued a career in the entertainment industry as a rapper and actor. He used his real name as his stage name and was also featured in his father’s autobiography, Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America’s Most Notorious Drug Lords.

The youngest of seven, Ray Lucas preceded his father in death. Lucas died of an accidental overdose from a substance similar to Opioid fentanyl on August 6, 2017. He was a resident of Newark, New Jersey, and a sports management student at Southern Connecticut State University.

The other four children, Ruby, Candace, Betty, and Tony, preferred to stay away from the media spotlight and their current whereabouts and occupations are unknown.

Wiki/Bio Facts of Julianna Farrait

Full nameJulianna Farrait, also known as Julie Farrait
Also Known AsJulie Farrait, Eva (in American Gangster)
Date of birth1948
Date of DeathUnknown
Current StatusDeceased
Place of birthPuerto Rico
NationalityPuerto Rican-American
Body measurementsN/A
Eye colorHazel
Hair colorDark Brown
OccupationFormer Drug Dealer
SpouseFrank Lucas
ChildrenFrancine Lucas-Sinclair, Frank Lucas Jr., Ray Lucas, Ruby Lucas, Candace Lucas, Betty Lucas, and Tony Walters
ArrestsShe was arrested several times for her involvement in her husband’s drug business. She served five years in jail in the 1970s and another five years in jail in 2012.
MovieHer life story inspired the character Eva in the 2007 film American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington as Frank and Lymari Nadal as Julianna.
Net worthUnknown
Famous ForBeing the wife of notorious drug trafficker Frank Lucas
NicknameThe Black Bonnie
ControversyShe bought her husband a chinchilla coat and hat which he famously wore to a Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden in 1971, drawing attention from the authorities.
First Arrest1975, for her involvement with her husband in drug trade
First Sentence5 years of imprisonment
Second Arrest2010, for selling cocaine in Puerto Rico
Second Sentence5 years of imprisonment
Previous ResidenceNew Jersey
Current statusShe is presumably living a low-profile life after being released from prison in 2017.
StyleShe used to wear expensive and branded clothes and jewelry, such as long fur coats and hats.
AchievementBeing a homecoming queen in Puerto Rico
TriviaHer life inspired the character of Eva in the Oscar-nominated film American Gangster

Background of Julianna Farrait

Julianna Farrait, also known as Julie Farrait was born in 1948 in Puerto Rico. There is not much information about her parents, siblings, or education. After graduating from high school, she met her future husband Frank Lucas on a flight from Puerto Rico to New York and fell in love with him. Julianna has not shared her professional line of work however she was involved in Lucas’s drug business and was arrested several times for her role in it. Her life inspired the character of Eva in the movie American Gangster.

Networth of Julianna Farrait

Julianna Farrait’s net worth was never officially disclosed, but some sources estimate that it was around $1 million to $10 million. Julianna Farrait’s net worth was not stable, however, as she faced several legal troubles and prison sentences for her involvement in the drug trade. She also lost a lot of money when Frank’s assets were seized by the authorities.

Frank Lucas was one of the richest drug dealers in history, and he claimed that he earned up to $1 million a day at the peak of his operation. He was able to buy heroin directly from the source in Southeast Asia and smuggle it into the US using the coffins of dead soldiers. He also paid bribes to the Vietnamese police and military, reportedly up to $200,000 per shipment, to ensure his safety and success.

Social Media Presence of Julianna Farrait

Julianna is not active on any social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. She is only known for her involvement in the drug trade with her late husband, Frank Lucas, and her legal troubles.


  • Q: When and where was Julianna Farrait born?
    • A: Julianna Farrait was born in Puerto Rico in 1948.
  • Q: How did she meet Frank Lucas?
    • A: She met Frank Lucas on a flight from Puerto Rico to New York in the mid-1960s. They struck up a conversation and found that they were attracted to each other.
  • Q: What was her role in Frank Lucas’s drug empire?
    • A: She was involved in her husband’s drug dealings and faced multiple arrests for her participation. She also helped him hide money and drugs during raids.
  • Q: How many children did she have with Frank Lucas?
    • A: She had one daughter, Francine, with Frank Lucas in November 1972. Frank Lucas also had six other children from previous relationships.
  • Q: What was the controversy over the chinchilla coat and hat?
    • A: Julianna bought a floor-length chinchilla coat and a matching hat, which he wore to a Muhammad Ali boxing match in Atlanta in 1971. The extravagant outfit drew attention from the authorities and rival drug dealers, who became curious about Frank Lucas’s source of income.
  • Q: When and why was she arrested for the first time?
    • A: She was arrested in 1975 at her New Jersey home, along with Frank Lucas, when the authorities seized more than $500,000 in cash. She was sentenced to five years in prison for her involvement in Frank Lucas’s drug operation.
  • Q: When and why was she arrested for the second time?
    • A: She was arrested in 2010 in Puerto Rico, after she tried to sell 2 kg of cocaine to an undercover informant at a hotel. She was accused of conspiring to violate the narcotics law and sentenced to another five years in prison.
  • Q: How did she cope with Frank Lucas’s imprisonment?
    • A: She remained loyal to Frank Lucas and visited him regularly in prison. She also raised their daughter, Francine, and tried to keep a low profile.
  • Q: What is her current status and whereabouts?
    • A:  She passed away a few years before Frank Lucas, who died in 2019 at the age of 88.

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