Queen Latifah // July 2009 Essence Magazine

Queen Latifah recently revealed in her July 2009 cover story for Essence Magazine that as a child, she was sexually abused by a teenager who was taking care of her.

“He violated me,” she says of the abuser. “I never told anybody; I just buried it as deeply as I could and kept people at an arm’s distance. I never really let a person get too close to me. I could have been married years ago, but I had a commitment issue.” Eventually, she opened up to her parents, who separated when she was young.

“When I was 22, my brother died, and I knew that I couldn’t carry his death and that secret,” she says. “I had to get it off my chest. My mother felt terrible. She was kind of a country girl, so she wasn’t up on how slick people could be. When I told my dad, he said nothing.” Latifah says now that it was scary when her father didn’t respond. “He’s a man of action,” she says.


Read all about this and more in the latest issue of Essence Magazine, on stands now.