Jackée Harry talks about past toxic relationship; ‘He looked like Idris Elba’

The legendary actress encourages women to walk away no matter how good he looks

Jackée Harry is an Emmy award-winning actress best known for her roles in the comedic series “227” as Sandra Clark and “Sister, Sister” as Lisa Landry Sims. Fast forward to March 25, 2023, and fans will get to see Harry star in the Lifetime movie Every Breath She Takes where she will take on a serious role, along with her co-stars Tamala Jones, Brian White, and Tisha Campbell.

The movie will be a romantic thriller where Jones plays the character Jules Baker who is trying to escape an abusive relationship with her husband Billy, played by White.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Harry opened up to rolling out about her own experience with toxic relationships and how she has learned to choose herself. She hopes to inspire women in similar situations to do the same.

What do you think is the sole message of the movie?

For women, you have the power for all of your relationships. Even though it may be complicated, you don’t see a way out. Because sometimes that’s how it is, you’re going to love somebody who’s abusive and you have to say, “I gotta move on. This is not good for me. It’s not healthy.” Even if you you’re not intimate with somebody, but it’s in your head, it can be toxic. So, get out of toxic relationships, but learn how to get out of them too. It’s not always one answer, especially for women; we feel like, “Oh, we love him and love him, I need him. But you’re not good for me.” So, talk it out with your girlfriends, your mom, your role models, your aunts, your grandmothers, and fight your way out of it, because it’s not always easy to just let go.

Has there ever been a situation where you were a mentor to someone that was going through an abusive relationship or something of that nature?

I was not in an abusive relationship, but … when I was in San Francisco, I was traveling with a theatrical company. I met a man and he was all of that. He was gorgeous and good-looking; like an Idris Elba. Everything was pow, boom, bang, and fireworks. When I got intimate with him and he took me to his home, he had another woman there. I didn’t get it right away. She was nice and everything, but I called my sister and I called my mother, and I told them what was happening. They said, see what happens next. And sure enough, he was like, “This is what you’re gonna do. She’s the number one woman and you’re the number two.”

I called her up, she said, “Take your stuff to the Greyhound bus, put it in a locker, and when he leaves for work you get on that bus.” And that’s just what I did. It was potentially dangerous. He called me saying, “I know I’ll find you.” But when you get strength from other people who have been through stuff, who will tell you to pack up and leave, you have to have a support system of some kind – even if it’s professional groups. Know how to get out.

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