Not a lot of people know that Queen Latifah actually had an older brother who passed away in the '90s. Her brother's death caused Latifah to spiral out of control.
Following the death of her brother in the ear 1992, Queen Latifah began "self-medicating" with alcohol and drugs to ease the pain she was feeling. During a previous interview with Good Housekeeping, the actress recalled her "darkest days" after her brother, Lancelot Jr., was killed in a car crash.
Lance Owens, 23, was a policeman in East Orange, New Jersey. He was killed in an off-duty accident when his motorcycle collided with a car while he was making a u-turn.
Adding to the pain she felt, her brother passed away using the Kawasaki motorcycle she had bought him just two months prior to the accident.
"My life was rocked to the core. I felt guilty. I was angry at God."
According to People Magazine, Latifah herself is an avid fan of motorcycles, says that they took their last spin together just three days before the accident.
"We had a good day. It ended with the usual hug and kiss, 'I love you. Bye.'"
While after his death she tried to pour herself out on the basketball court, it was not enough to numb her pain. She started getting addicted to drinking and drugs.
A few years later, Queen was hit by yet another devastating event in her life. She was a victim of a carjacking incident, and her passenger, a dear friend, was shot and nearly died in her arms. Trying to cope with the shock of another tragic incident, she started to numb herself with alcohol.
"Drinking a bunch of alcohol, numbing myself. Every day I would be faded, like a painting that's just not vibrant, whose edges are dull. I wasn't living my full life."
Realizing that she was about to hit rock bottom, she started going to therapy at the recommendation of her friend and "Set It Off" co-star Jada Pinkett Smith. While the support of her family and friends helped Latifah through her sadness, she said that it was her faith in God that really helped her.
“I realized that [being angry] wasn’t helping me or my brother. I learned that God was going to provide comfort; I know He is always listening and guiding.”
Since then, Queen Latifah has made a name for herself, trying to make the most out of life despite the tragedies that have struck her in the past. Now, she remains to be one of the most popular black figures in the world, after having a career filled with success and prominence.