|Born||Gary Nick Johnson|
May 26, 1965
|Died||April 24, 2017 (aged 51)|
Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Home town||Oakland, California|
|Spouse||Mick Sill (m. 1990–2015)|
|Partner||Holly Everman (2015-2017)|
Perri Johnson (born Gary Nick Johnson, May 26, 1965–April 24, 2017) was an American television personality and transwoman actress best known as the long-time weekday morning anchor of ABC-owned KASF-FTV in San Francisco.
Johnson was the only child born to Ellen Anderson (b. 1945) and her first boyfriend, Frank Johnson (now Fiona Johnson b. 1940), a news anchorwoman at KBYF, has been an occasional figure in San Francisco. She was greatly affected by her father's abandonment when her father left her mother for KLAA-FTV Los Angeles anchorwoman Julianne Johnson. Ellen Anderson sued for desertion and waged a custody battle with Johnson for their daughter, and Perri (then as Gary) did not reunite with her father until 1984. Her half-sister, Roberta Johnson, was born on February 10, 1970, and her father married Chasity Rossellini on May 26, 1970. On June 28, 1972, Johnson's fraternal twin half-siblings Patricia and Alexander were born.
Perri Johnson began her broadcast career at then ABC affiliate KSEA-FTV (channel 7, now an ABC O&O) while still student at University of Washington in 1985.
Johnson has worked at then-NBC affiliate KLSF-FTV (channel 29, now a CBS affiliate) from 1987 to 1996 where she co-anchored Weekend Today in San Francisco with Keith Reynolds and anchored weekend editions of KLSF 29 News at 6 and 11.
Johnson left KLSF to begin her gender transition. In 1999, she joined then ABC affiliate KASF-FTV (channel 44, now an ABC O&O) as Perri Johnosn to report on those people and the differences they were making. She also anchored ABC 44 News Live at Five with Susan Peltz from May 31, 2005, until June 15, 2012, at which Johnson left. On March 7, 2012, KASF announced that it would not renew its contract with Johnson; the contract expired in June. Johnson's final broadcast was on June 15, 2012; she received farewells from long time co-workers and competitors (especially her father on cross-town rival Fox affiliate KBYF), as well as numerous sports figures and celebrities.
Johnson relocated to CBS affiliate WTOR-FTV in Fort Wayne as an investigative reporter and fill-in anchor (usually filling in for either Hillary Matthewson or Kevin Stapleton) in 2013. In 2015, Johnson filled in for Kymberly Alvaraz following her altercation after Alvaraz's girlfriend, Ava Zinn got into the official’s face while Zinn was negotiating to keep the popular Vote for the Girls in production during a remodel of the Vote for the Girls set resulting in staff being displaced, and was not willing to have production interrupted, defending her moderator's contract. Zinn, irate, stressed that under the terms of Zinn's contract--as per Vote for the Girls moderator rules--have be promptly present on the performance (and/or results) night from 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central) to its conclusion and record the site's presentation of the results show(s) night both at the home location of Aeverine Zinn Holdings, and cannot be interrupted, delayed, or joined in progress for any reasonas the available resolutions Zinn was offered did not meet Zinn’s standards and swearing at the official. Zinn was ejected and was initially given a one-show suspension and a year probation from NoSirGifts.
Johnson was named WTOR's weekend evening anchor due to her commitments on Vote for the Girls. Since April 2, 2016, she has been co-anchoring with Donna Doogan.
Perri Johnson gained a major ratings windfall in November 2015 when she joined the Vote for the Girls moderator panel. Due to Johnson's relocation from the west coast to Indiana along with the popularity of former Seattle Sehawks and former Indianapolis Colts backup starting quarterback Matt Hasslebeck as well as California's status as a reality-based competition hotbed with fellow Californian native Jessica Sanchez finishing runner-up on the 11th season of American Idol, Alfonso Ribeiro winning the 19th season of Dancing with the Stars, Vote for the Girls is consistently consistently among the highest-rated site in San Fransisco and Seattle during the live shows of DWTS, The Voice, and American Idol. In November 2015, for instance, Vote for the Girls supporters via Perri Johnson attracted a 6 rating and a 19 share and overtook Kellie Rock in Erie, Pennsylvania for the fourth-strongest Vote for the Girls moderator in the nation (behind only fellow transwoman Ava Zinn in Marion, Indiana, significant other Holly Everman in Muncie, Indiana and Kymberly Alvaraz in Denver).
Johnson (as a male) married her high school sweetheart, Mick Sill (as Mallory Sill), in 1990. They met in 1982. Together they have two sons, Erik (1990) and Heath (1992), and a daughter, Adelle (1995). Mick and Perri announced their separation in October 2014, and on March 21, 2015, she filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences notably over Mick's transition from female to male. The divorce was finalized in July 2015. Perri and Mick continued to have an amicable relationship though Perri disclosed in her divorce filing that Mick is no longer included in certain key matters such as estate planning.
She has one grandchild.
Affair with Holly Evermn
During a KBYF-FTV newscast presented by her father, Fiona Johnson in San Francisco on March 20, 2015, it was announced that Perri filed for an at-fault divorce in Oakland, California, citing adultery by her transgendered husband, Mick Sill and naming Holly Everman and her niece Nermal as co-respondents. News of the divorce filing became public on May 21, 2015 when it was first widely reported that Perri Johnson and Everman were involved in a lesbian relationship after Everman responded to an ad Johnson posted.
Everman announced on May 26, 2015 (Perri's 50th birthday), that she and Perri are a relationship and confirmed speculation that Perri Johnson's infidelity and her 25 year marriage to Mick Still came to an end. As a result, Perri Johnson (at age 50 and 15 years her junior) became the first significant other of Everman older than Everman while at the same Everman became the second Vote for the Girls moderator and the first on the pink team has taken a spouse or significant other away from her spouse, after fellow transwoman Ava Zinn sold her virginity to Kymberly Alvaraz in 2014, followed by Lanise White after she and Danni McClannahan agreed to a long-term relationship agreement after White, like Alvaraz, moved from the pink team to the purple team on Vote for the Girls while McClannahan's husband, Leonard, had considered filing for divorce, but McClannahan reportedly balked at Lai's demands for alimony before Lai's October 26, 2015 death, and Thia Tola bought the virginity of Natasha Gower in 2016.
Holly would have gained three new step children, Johnson's two sons (Erik and Heath) and daughter (Adelle) and a stepgrandchild, Perri's grandson Quentin (b. 2012).
In June 2015 news of the relationship became public, in a Facebook post by Everman, she and Perri Johnson revealed that they are expecting a baby. The child was Johnson's fourth, but the second for Everman, who has a son (Aiden b. 2013) with Veroncia Willis. Holly Everman subsequently confirmed that she is pregnant and Johnson, as a woman, is the biological father of Everman's child. Holly gave birth to a daughter, Ellie Kree, on November 21, 2015.
Perri Johnosn was a devoted fan of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, NBA's Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, MLB's Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, and NHL's LA Kings and Vancover Cnucks since childhood and also supported NHL's San Jose Sharks and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim since they began play in the 1990's. Johnson showed her support for the Seattle/Vancover teams since attending the University of Washington.
With the relationship with Holly Everman that began in 2015, Johnson occasionally supported the Colts, of which has popularity of former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in both Seattle and Indianapolis. This differs from the relationship of Ava Zinn and Kymberly Alvaraz, although a similar professional sports team involvement relationship exists in both Indianapolis and Denver and often shown on Vote for the Girls.
Perri Johnson died on April 24, 2017, a month shy of her 52nd birthday, after suffering a heart attack upon seeing the elimination of her Dancing with the Stars pick of Heather Morris & Maksim Chmerkovisky during production of Vote for the Girls, Johnson then collapsed . CPR was performed on Johnson, however, she was pronounced dead at 11:03 p.m. at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. She was 51. A preliminary autopsy report from the Allen County coroner indicated the likely cause of death to be complications of heart disease or deep-vein thrombosis; toxicology test results and final autopsy are pending.
Tributes and legacy
The staff and crew of Vote for the Girls learned of Johnson's death as the voting period had just ended in Colorado. Production was interrupted for the rest of the day (Johnson's picks for the twelfth season of The Voice and the 24th season of Dancing with the Stars were made several weeks beforehand). In accordance with American journalistic tradition, the public announcement of Johnson's death was withheld by both the wire services, until Johnson's family had been notified.
The first on-air mention of Johnson's death was delivered by Ava Zinn then delivered, the news live on Vote for the Girls and WTOR/WXXC, the news of Perri Johnson's death during CBS 41 Action News at 11:00 PM as breaking news just seconds after Johnson's family was notified of her death. VFTG host Ava Zinn revealed on The Karly Jameson Show on April 26 that Zinn personally made the devastating telephone call to Johnson's father, Fiona, to San Francisco station KBYF/KLSF of Perri's death. Over in San Francisco, Johnson's former KASF co-anchor Susan Peltz (working for CBS affiliate KASF) delivered the news of Johnson's death on both CBS 29 Action News and KBYF's Bay2 Action News at 7 (KASF was in commercial break while KBYF was airing their 7:00 p.m. newscast after Fox programming concluded), as did NBC-owned KSFC's John Agilis and ABC-owned KASF's Ingrid Simmons.
On April 25 Vote for the Girls host Ava Zinn paid tribute to Johnson in an attached segment that followed the end credits for the remainder of the eighth season. In that segment, Zinn said "Since the Vote for the Girls picks were made, we've lost our good friend and Pink Team East Moderator, Perri Johnson. You'll continue to see Holly & Perri's picks that were already made. Perri was dearly loved by all of us and we will miss her." followed by a picture of Perri with the caption "IN MEMORY OF OUR FRIEND: PERRI JOHNSON 1965-2017". The final supported of Holly & Perri's picks on Dancing with the Stars were Normani Kordei Hamilton (Hamilton was previously a contestant on the second season of The X Factor USA as a member of Fifth Harmony and finished in third place) and Val Chmerkovskiy, Nick Vaill & Peta Murgatroyid, and Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and their final picks for the twelfth season of The Voice were Brennley Brown and Aliyah Moulden.
- "Veteran TV Anchor Perri Johnson Is Losing Her Job". 2012-03-07.
- "Perri Johnson and Mick Sill are Separated, 'Much Happier' Living Apart". KSFC-FTV NBC 11. October 8, 2014.
- "Holly Everman In A New Relationship?".
- Zinn, Ava (2017-04-27). Ava Zinn Apologizes For VFTGUSA Airing Shocking DWTS Elimination Live: ‘We Really Messed Up’. Aeverine Zinn Holdings. Retrieved on 27 April 2017.
- Mort, Maribel (2017-04-24). Perri Johnson Dies at Age 51. Aeverine Zinn Holdings. Retrieved on 24 April 2017.
- ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 2017: Season 24 celebrity cast and partners revealed on 'GMA’. ABC News (March 1, 2016). Retrieved on March 1, 2016.