Taraji P. Henson tears up as she recalls telling son, 9, his father had been murdered: ‘I didn’t have the words’
She’s the star of the hit film Hidden Figures and TV series Empire.
But Taraji P. Henson is also known as a staunch advocate for increased access to mental health services.
On Tuesday, in a video clip promoting Wednesday’s episode of her Facebook Watch show Peace Of Mind, the actress, 50, teared up as she recalled how she had to deal with the murder of her son’s father 11 years ago.
Emotional time: Taraji P. Henson recalled in a preview clip for her Facebook Watch show Peace Of Mind how she had to deal with telling her nine-year-old son his father had been murdered
‘My son’s father was suddenly taken, murdered, when he was nine and I didn’t know how to tell him that,’ she shared with co-host Tracie Jade Jenkins and therapist Sierra Hillsman.
‘I couldn’t tell him he was murdered, so I told him he died in an accident,’ she explained.
‘He was stabbed to death, it was the worst way you could die…. I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t know how to tell a nine-year-old.’
Too much: Henson, 50, teared up as she explained she just ‘didn’t have the words’. She said: ‘I couldn’t tell him he was murdered, so I told him he died in an accident’
Her boy: The actress, 50, raised her son Marcell, now 26, as a single mother. He’s pictured with her at her Hollywood Walk Of Fame ceremony in January 2019
Henson went on to raise her son Marcell, now 26, as a single mother and said that when he was older, he found out the truth about his father’s death and asked her why she hadn’t told him.
As a result, the actress said the two of them turned to therapy together.
She’s spoken openly in the past about having therapy and in June 2019, she explained: ‘It’s tough when you are in a dark place. Thank God I had really incredible people around me… since I’ve seen a therapist, it helps me tremendously.’
Campaigner: An advocate for increased access to mental health services, Henson addressed Congress in June 2019 about the need for more mental health resources for African Americans
The same month, Henson addressed Congress about the need for more mental health resources for African Americans.
She said at the time that she thinks being an advocate for the community has become her ‘purpose’ in life.
She also started the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named for her late father, which works with schools to to provide therapy for at risk students and address childhood suicide.
On Facebook Watch’s Peace of Mind, Henson and her longtime friend Jenkins discuss mental health issues, especially those arising in the African-American community. and each episode focuses on a different topic.
The Empire and Hidden Figures star also started the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named for her late father, which works with schools to to provide therapy for at risk students