Empire star Taraji P Henson opens up about domestic abuse | tv | Hindustan Times
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Empire star Taraji P Henson opens up about domestic abuse

tv Updated: Oct 05, 2016 14:41 IST
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Taraji P Henson, known for playing the role of inimitable Cookie Lyon in hit TV show Empire, shared that she broke off her relationship with the love of her life, whom she refers to only as Mark, after he allegedly hit her. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Golden Globe winning actor Taraji P Henson has opened up in her new memoir about the violence she has suffered at the hands of the man she loved the most.

In Around the Way Girl: A Memoir, the Oscar-nominated actress describes how she was raised poor in a Washington ghetto and how she struggled to break in to acting, reports People.com.

Henson, known for playing the role of inimitable Cookie Lyon in hit TV show Empire, shared that she broke off her relationship with the love of her life, whom she refers to only as Mark, after he allegedly hit her.

In the new book, which will be out on October 11, Henson explains that she first met Mark when she was just 17 years old. From the beginning it was a passionate but turbulent relationship, in part because Mark felt he was somehow inferior to Henson.

“You’re better than me,” she recalls him saying to her, while she rested in his arms. “You need to leave me alone.”

They broke up and Mark went on to father two children with separate women. However, the pair got together in the early 1990s when Henson was at Howard University where she studied theatre.

Taraji P Henson in a still from Empire. (Photographer: Chuck Hodes)

Henson stayed in school during her pregnancy and initially felt supported by Mark, but writes that things began to unravel after Marcell’s birth. She recalls that the stress of a new baby, working and Mark’s disappearances late at night resulted in a huge fight one night that turned physical

“The next thing I knew, Mark’s balled-up fist was coming straight for my face. I fell onto the bed crying and holding my mouth; blood seeped off my lips and across my teeth,” Henson writes. “Droplets splashed across my shoes... slowly creeping into the fibers of my suede boots.”

After she saw the blood, Henson writes that she screamed at him: “This is over! Get your s*** and get out!”

Though her father encouraged them to reconcile, Henson ended the relationship -- for the well-being of herself and her baby.

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