Laurence Fishburne admits beating his 1st wife and then seeking therapy (video)

The legendary actor opens up to Jemele Hill about his volatile first marriage

Laurence Fishburne admits beating his 1st wife and then seeking therapy (video)

Esteemed actor Laurence Fishburne now admits that he once had more in common with arguably his most infamous role: playing the infamous wife-beater Ike Turner in the Oscar-nominated film What’s Love Got to Do With It?

The two-time Emmy Award-winning Fishburne, who is also equally renowned among urbanites for playing the role of Furious Styles in the seminal film Boyz N the Hood, may have shocked fans when he said that he had reservations about taking on the career-defining role of Turner. He turned down the movie producers five times before devolving into the portrayal of an abuser, simply because he had been one himself.


“Because I had been physical with my first wife. I got married when I was 23 years old, my first wife was 21,” Fishburne revealed on Jemele Hill’s”‘Unbothered” podcast. “And our relationship was very volatile. I was physically abusive with my first wife, to my regret, and to my shame.”

The Matrix franchise star also added, “So, I was very familiar with the territory and with the emotional landscape of what, you know, brings a person to that place, where they feel the need to be abusive to their partner.”


Once Fishburne accepted the role, he told the director that there were only so many times that he could film the scenes where his Ike Turner character beat up on Tina Turner, which was played by frequent movie collaborator and Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett.

Fishburne, 61, visited Hill’s podcast to discuss the ESPN documentary he executive produced, “Cave of Adullam,” which Hill characterized in a post as “EXTRAORDINARY” in all caps. The two also reminisced about his three-decade collaboration with Bassett, his most iconic movies, and why Fishburne turned down the role of Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction that catapulted Samuel L. Jackson into superstardom. 

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