Journalist and first African-American female co-host of “The Today Show,” Tamron Hall explained in a recent interview with People magazine that her sister’s tragic experience in an abusive relationship has seriously impacted her own ideas about love and intimacy.
“No one deserves what happened to my sister,” Hall opened up about her sister, Renate. In 2004, Renate was found bludgeoned and beaten to death floating face down in the pool of her Houston, Texas home. Hall says she witnessed a violent altercation between her sister and abusive ex on one occasion.
“I said to her, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘You’re too beautiful. Too smart. You can do better.’ All the things I’ve learned now are wrong [from domestic abuse advocates], I did them all,” Hall revealed about the incident she witnessed in her own home. Renate stayed in the relationship until her untimely death. Although the violent man was the only person of interest in the investigation of Renate’s death, due to lack of evidence no arrests were made and the case remains an unsolved homicide.
In honor of her sister, Hall works with groups like Safe Horizon and Day One to advocate for victims of domestic violence and educate friends and family members on how to support loved ones who are victims of abuse. She also uses her personal experience to help victims find closure. In 2015, she was honored with the Women of Courage Award by Philadelphia’s Lutheran Settlement House for her advocacy and for sharing the stories of survivors of domestic violence on the Today Show’s “Shine a Light” series.
Hall also explained to People how the conflicting feelings she has surrounding her sister’s experience have affected her personal life — joking that her friends have nicknamed her “The Runaway Bride.”
“I’ve been engaged a couple times. Thank God no one was abusive, but [my sister’s situation] makes me cautious.” The 45-year-old shared that she’s been engaged twice but never made it down the aisle: “I never bought a dress, but I was close, in Vegas and another time in Cozumel,” she says. “I chickened out both times.”