Taraji P. Henson’s Model Son Marcel Is All Grown Up & Looks Just Like His Mom

Marcel Johnson, the 25-year-old son of “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, is quite the stunner in recent pics shared to his Instagram account.

The young man dealt with some mental health issues after the murder of his dad. Henson opened about it hoping to raise awareness in the black community.

Actress Taraji P. Henson (R) and son Marcel Henson attend the screening of "From The Rough" at ArcLight Cinemas  | Getty Images

Actress Taraji P. Henson (R) and son Marcel Henson attend the screening of "From The Rough" at ArcLight Cinemas | Getty Images

The actress was still in college when she got pregnant with her first and only child from high school sweetheart William Lamar Johnson, and even though her teachers and family didn’t think she could handle the situation, Henson proved everyone wrong by attending classes and also participating in the school musical while being pregnant.

After she gave birth to Marcel, Henson graduated and took off to L.A following her dream of becoming an actress. Her father initially asked her to leave Marcel at home, but she couldn’t leave her son behind.

On an interview with Glamour, Henson recalled that at some point her father told her:

“That’s your baby. That’s your blessing. He’s going to be your strength.” And you know what? He was.”


Marcel is also taking an interest in the entertainment industry. He’s made some moves in the fashion and modeling world and even walked the runway on the New York Fashion Week earlier this year.

He’s not as active as his mother on social media, but the few pics he has shared on Instagram have fans drooling over his physique.

The young man, who grew up without a paternal figure, resembles his mother a lot in a now-deleted picture that showed him wearing a long-sleeved white t-shirt, denim ripped pants, white converse shoes, rimmed glasses, and silver accessories. He stood in front of a mirror and captioned the pic:

“Delete u out my day bcuz it bothers me.”

Fans took over the comment section to share their thoughts on the pic. Most of them praising Marcel for his good looks.

“So Filet... Where's mignon? Oh, snap... You got the Marcel instead,” wrote one fan, and another added, “Your Drip gives me Good Lenny Vibes.”


A few months ago, Taraji P. Henson inaugurated her non-profit organization named after her dad, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. She talked about mental health and how her son needed counseling after the tragic murder of his father when he was 9-year-old.

William Lamar Johnson was murdered in 2003 after he reportedly approached a couple that had slashed his friend’s tires. The pair, Russell and Charlotte Nickelson, attacked him, hitting his head with a lamp and later stabbing him multiple times.

They were sentenced to only 30 and 50 months, less than ten years of prison combined.


Henson revealed to Variety that when she was looking for a therapist for her son, it was a hard task. She needed “someone that he could trust, someone that looks like him and could understand his struggle,” but they wouldn’t be African American because Marcel would feel guilty about the things he was saying.

She said:

“It was like looking for a unicorn, and the reason that happens is because we don’t talk about it in our community; it’s taboo, it’s looked upon as a weakness, or we’re demonized for expressing rage for traumas we’ve been through.”

The “Empire” star also stated that there’s a misconception about celebrities and their “perfect life,” when in reality they’re also struggling with their own demons. “Our kids aren’t perfect, we’re suffering and struggling just like the regular person and money doesn’t help,” she said. “I thank God I can pay for the psychiatry bill, but it doesn’t necessarily take away the problems.”


Henson announced her engagement to NFL star Kelvin Hayden earlier this year. The football player proposed on Mother’s Day, when he surprised Taraji with a diamond ring and some romantic music in the private area of their favorite restaurant.

She captioned an Instagram pic to share the news:

“I said yes Y'all!!! He started with the Cartier love bracelet BUT that was my #Mothersday gift, and then he dropped to his knee and I almost passed out!!! #sheisofficiallyoffthemarket and she is sooooooooooooo HAPPY!!!!!! #GODIS.”

While is not clear what kind of relationship Hayden and Marcel have, they probably get along pretty well, since Henson’s priority has always been her son above everything else.

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