Godfather of Harlem: Did Bumpy Cheat on Mayme? Bumpy’s Relationship with Amy Vanderbilt Explained


If patience and endurance were a person, they would be named Godfather of Harlem’s Mayme Johnson (Ilfenesh Hadera). Mayme had to keep Bumpy’s family together and prevent Bumpy’s gangster lifestyle from getting to the family while he was in prison. However, rumors of Bumpy’s affair with Amy Vanderbilt didn’t make her life any easier. Mayme never knew the extent of Bumpy’s affair with Amy, which leaves the question, how long did Bumpy and Amy Vanderbilt date?

Bumpy Johnson had an affair with Amy Vanderbilt before he went to prison and continued for a short while after his release. Bumpy finally ended the relationship because Mayme was angry at him, but Amy wanted it to continue and even tried to blackmail Bumpy with her money to keep the affair going. There are rumors of the real-life Bumpy having had affairs with multiple women, including the real-life Amy Vanderbilt, although the extent of the affair is unknown.

Mayme forgave Bumpy for the affair but never felt comfortable around Amy Vanderbilt. She still gathered enough confidence to sit with her and discuss the civil rights bill on the Mike Wallace Show. Life as a black woman in Harlem was hard enough for Mayme, but Bumpy cheating on her with a rich white woman, just made it a lot worse. Bumpy and Mayme are still Godfather of Harlem’s best power couple, so how did they get past Amy Vanderbilt?

Did Bumpy have an affair with Amy Vanderbilt?

Amy Vanderbilt restarted her affair with Bumpy Johnson immediately after his release from prison, something that really angered Mayme Johnson.

She met Bumpy in her car and made out, despite Bumpy expressing his discomfort about the idea of cheating on Mayme.

When Bumpy found a photo of Mayme’s ex holding her in a newspaper, he wanted to express his displeasure, but Mayme reminded him that she knew of his affair with Amy forcing Bumpy to drop the subject.

Therefore, Mayme may also be cheating on Bumpy Johnson with her ex Doug Jones. However, Mayme’s affair is not proved in the show like Bumpy’s.


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The on-and-off affair almost restarted when Bumpy went to Amy for a loan of $300 000. Amy agreed to loan him money on the condition that he agrees to sleep with her.

However, Bumpy saw the photo of a slave in chains in Amy Vanderbilt’s room, which reminded him that sleeping with Amy to get a loan from her was equal to slavery. He chose to leave Amy and the loan, which was the end of his affair with Amy Vanderbilt. in retaliation, Amy funded lawyers to investigate Mafia-owned properties for Rev. Powell, implicating Bumpy in the process. Bumpy chose to compromise with the congressman rather than go to Amy for help, which was pretty much the end of the affair.

Who is Amy Vanderbilt in Godfather of Harlem?

Amy Vanderbilt (Joanne Kelly) is a rich author and socialite that had an affair with Bumpy Johnson before he went to prison for conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

There are few details regarding how the affair started, but Amy is a regular visitor to Harlem and close friends with Adam Clayton Powell. She doesn’t really love Bumpy Johnson and only wants to be around him for her sexual satisfaction. She is also curious and adventurous and only sees her relationship with Bumpy as an experiment.

She made out with Bumpy in a car after he was released from prison and wanted to keep the affair going despite Bumpy’s protests.

When Bumpy came to her with a request for a $300,000 loan, she took it as an opportunity to blackmail him into sleeping with her once more.

She also uses her money to influence politics in New York, including paying lawyers to investigate properties owned by the Mafia just to get back at Bumpy in the guise of working with congressman Adam Clayton Powell to help the people of Harlem.


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However, Amy was serious about supporting the Civil Rights Bill, which is why she asked for Mayme’s help in understanding the plight of back people and even sat with her at the Mike Wallace show.

Amy Vanderbilt is portrayed by the legendary Canadian writer and actress Joanne Kelly, famous for her roles as Myka Bering in Warehouse 13, and Letitia Dryden in City on a Hill.

The character is loosely based on the New-York based author and Socialite Amy Vanderbilt, also known as The Queen of Etiquette.

Who is Mayme Johnson in Godfather of Harlem?

Mayme Johnson (Ilfenesh Hadera) is the wife of the mob boss Bumpy Johnson and a civil rights activist who passionately fights against the oppression of black people in Harlem.

Mayme doesn’t participate in her husband’s criminal activities, but she loves him and sometimes advises him on business matters.

Her motherly instinct is one of her defining characteristics. She took the role of a mother for her granddaughter, Margaret, because Elise was a drug addict and unable to take care of her.

Mayme also works with congressman Adam Clayton Powell as his assistant, putting her in a better position to work on community development projects such as fighting for the voting rights of black people in Harlem.

Despite knowing about her husband’s affair with Amy Vanderbilt, Mayme chose to forgive him and stay in the marriage. She hates it when Bumpy’s enemies threaten the family and force her to leave her home.

Mayme is still a reasonable woman and always sees the bigger picture, and doesn’t let her personal issues stand in the way of her mission to help the people of Harlem.

She even agreed to work with Amy Vanderbilt in campaigning for the Civil Rights Bill and appearing on the Mike Wallace Show to defend the bill from the perspective of a black woman.

Bumpy Johnson’s criminal lifestyle has made Mayme’s life as an activist impossible because many people only see her as the wife of a gangster.

Mayme is portrayed by the Harlem-born actress Ilfenesh Hadera, whose performance has been one of the pillars of the show.

Hadera is famous for her role as Deb Kawi in Billions, but the role of Mayme feels natural to her because she portrays the life of a woman in the place where she was born and raised.

Bumpy and Amy Vanderbilt’s relationship explained

The show never gave details on how Bumpy ended up in a relationship with Amy, but they remained friends when their affair ended. Bumpy even encouraged Myme to appear alongside Amy on the Mike Wallace Show.

Bumpy started cheating on Mayme with Amy before he went to prison. It was obvious that they stayed in touch while Bumpy was in Alcatraz.

When Bumpy was released, Amy invited him to her car, where they made out. Amy’s closeness to Bumpy made Mayme angry, which means she knew about the affair even before Bumpy went to prison.


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Mayme was a real activist and couldn’t stand the idea of her husband being taken away by a privileged white woman because she had already lost so much.

Bumpy was uncomfortable with the whole affair, although he couldn’t help himself around Amy, which means he had genuine feelings for her. However, Amy was only having fun with Bumpy and didn’t care much about his and Mayme’s feelings.

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