Empire star Taraji P. Henson claims she 'wouldn't wish being a single parent on her worst enemy'

Mary Scott
Jan 18, 2019
07:15 P.M.
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Taraji P. Henson recently opened up about her struggles as a single parent and revealed she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy. The actress also opened up about her mental health issues.


Speaking recently with PorterEdit, Taraji, 48, recalled what it felt like raising Marcell, her model son who is now 24.

Taraji’s ex was murdered in 2003, many years after the “Empire” star had separated from him for domestic violence-related issues.


Taraji did her best to raise her son alone, but it was hard, she said.

“It’s hard. I dreamed he would go stay with his dad in his teens, or my dad. I didn’t date. I wondered: ‘Does he have enough confidence in himself as a black man?’”

The Oscar-nominated actress added:

“I wouldn’t wish being a single mother on my worst enemy. You need both parents.”


Taraji opened up a few years back about the gruesome murder of Marcell’s father and the impact it’s had on him.

When Marcell was nine years old, his father, William Lamar Johnson was murdered by a couple who allegedly slashed his friend’s tires.

"Just because you see me on television doesn’t make those voices in my head go away.”

Court documents reveal that the husband hit William on the head with a lamp while the wife stabbed him multiple times. They were sentenced to prison for less than seven years combined.


Although Taraji had long broken up with her baby daddy at the time, she revealed that she and her son would sit and weep about it.

She said of Marcell:

“His dad was murdered when Marcell was 9. He’s had to deal with life in a way that a lot of young kids haven’t yet. Do I mourn for him (William)? Absolutely. I wish my son had his dad. But sometimes things line up and they have to happen and we don’t know why.”


Taraji’s search for a psychiatrist to help her son deal with the mental health issues arising from his father’s murder led to another huge achievement last year.

After discovering a gap in the awareness and education of mental health in the African American community, the “Acrimony” actress created the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named after her late dad and working to erase “the stigma surrounding mental health issues, particularly in the African American community.”


At the time, Taraji herself admitted that she has also sought mental health treatment, and in the latest PorterEdit interview, she reiterated:

“I go every Saturday to therapy. Just because you see me on television doesn’t make those voices in my head go away.”

The award-winning actress got engaged to her boyfriend, former NFL player Kelvin Hayden, last May and had said her son would be the one walking her down the aisle when the time comes.

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