Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Closer Look at the Rough and Tumble Life of Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah - Getty - 800x600
Queen Latifah – Getty

*Queen Latifah is one of the entertainment industry’s most versatile stars.  Since arriving on the national scene in the late 1980s, Queen Latifah, whose real name is Dana Owens, has dazzled fans as a rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, producer and product pitchwoman.  Although she has demonstrated her vast talents pulled from her entertainment portfolio, life hasn’t always been kind to the Queen.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, bad fortunes found Latifah at the age of five, when a male teenage babysitter took advantage of her in inappropriate ways.  She never told anyone about the violation, but the babysitter’s actions impacted how she interacted with most people she encountered for many years.

“I kept people at an arm’s distance,” Latifah said in an interview with Essence magazine. “I never really let a person get too close to me.”

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Queen Latifah - vertical (Getty)
Queen Latifah – (Getty)

When Latifah was eight, her mother and father separated and ultimately divorced.  Latifah, along with her brother Lance, were raised by their mother in a housing project.  At the age of eleven, Latifah’s body had developed far beyond her years.  In her memoir, titled “Ladies First:  Revelations of a Strong Woman,” Latifah wrote that at sixteen, she had a sexual encounter with a 40-year-old man for $50.  She later regretted her decision, calling it a terrible mistake.

However, while living the life, Latifah wrote about trying cocaine when she was in high school and even sold illegal substances, which she said lasted for just one day.  While Latifah experienced a lot in her young life, the loss of her brother, Lance, was a shocking blow, because he was killed on a motorcycle she had purchased for him in 1992.  The death of her beloved brother sent Latifah into a depression.  Latifah wrote in her memoir that after her brother’s death she started drinking alcohol and smoking substances to help her cope with the grief she was experiencing.  She said music and going to counseling helped her build a stronger bond with God, who guided her through the months and years of grief following her brother’s death.

 

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Just as things were turning in Latifah’s favor, in the summer of 1995, she was carjacked in New York City.  Two other people were riding with Latifah in her brand-new BMW.  One year later, she was pulled over in Los Angeles for speeding.  A loaded weapon was found in the car after the police officer smelled an odor coming from the vehicle that suggested she had been smoking something that was illegal.  She ultimately was fined for speeding and charged for possession of an illegal substance.  However, she did not have to spend time in jail.

Three years ago, Latifah’s mother died of heart disease.  In a released statement, Latifah said, “I am heartbroken but know she is at peace.”

Throughout her career, Queen Latifah has faced many rumors about her personal life, non-more persistent than rumors about her sexual preference.  The Queen has never said one way or the other about her preference.  Yet,  The Daily Mail published photos of her 2015 walking arm in arm in New York with another woman.   A year earlier, a photo surfaced of Latifah and the same woman kissing on an island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Regardless of what rumors and photos have surfaced, Latifah, simply says, “My private life is my private life.  “Whomever I might be with, I don’t feel the need to share it.  I don’t think I ever will.”

Queen Latifah - The Equalizer promo

In other Queen Latifah news, her new show, “The Equalizer, ” debuts TONIGHT after the Super Bowl on CBS.

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