With a career filled with musical and acting accomplishments, Queen Latifah has more than made a name for herself in the eyes of observers and fans while keeping a careful watch over details over her personal life.
But in an interview with Essence magazine, the rapper/actress opens up about being a victim of sexual abuse during her childhood.
According to Latifah, the abuse occurred over a period of time at the hands the hands of a teenager charged with watching her.
“He violated me,” the entertainer said in the latest issue of the magazine. “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.”
Despite the drama, Latifah chose to remain quiet about the abuse.
It wasnt until the death of her brother when she was 22-years-old that she decided to tell her parents about what happened.
I knew that I couldn’t carry his death and that secret,” Latifah shared. “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.”
With her fathers response, Latifah admitted it was scary as she told Essence that “he’s a man of action.”
Years later, the rapper, who blamed herself for the sexual abuse, has finally come to terms with her ordeal after speaking with her therapist.
“I was a kid, and I had no power or control over the situation. I really wish I’d had the strength and the knowledge to say something sooner, because I always wondered, Did he do that to someone else? But I accept that the time for action has come and gone,” said Latifah, who is moving forward after being at peace with her traumatic past.
There are some places I’d like to see, some young ‘uns I hope to raise, but other than that, I’ve done a lot of what I’ve wanted to do,” she said. “Everything else is icing on the cake.”