Taraji P. Henson opens up about her domestic violence at the hand of her former love in her upcoming memoir, “Around The Way Girl.” Henson reveals that she broke off her relationship with the love of her life, the father of her son, William LaMarr Johnson, whom she refers to only as Mark in the book, after he allegedly laid hands on her. Ironically, he died violently at the age of 34.
In the new book, out Oct. 11, the single mother to their 22-year-old son explains that she first met Mark when she was just 17-years-old, but as their passionate but turbulent relationship progressed, their union became overshadowed by his insecurities.
“You’re better than me,” she recalls him saying to her, while she rested in his arms. “You need to leave me alone.”
People got an early look and wrote about the “Empire” star’s domestic abuse revelations. Henson writes that Mark didn’t become physically violent until after she gave birth to their son.
“The next thing I knew, Mark’s balled-up fist was coming straight for my face. I fell onto the bed crying and holding my mouth; blood seeped off my lips and across my teeth,” Henson wrote, according to People. “Droplets splashed across my shoes … slowly creeping into the fibers of my suede boots.”
Henson wrote that he hit her that one time, and she ended the relationship. Henson writes that she screamed at him: “This is over! Get your s— and get out!”
Though her father encouraged them to reconcile, Henson ended the relationship for the well-being of herself and her baby.
“With that separation, my forever man, my first love, was no more,” she writes.
Mark wasn’t completely out of the picture once she called it quits. She recalls the last time he was with their son was Christmas, and it’s a moment she will always cherish because “love was there” in both Mark’s look and advice to his son after the boy become upset over losing a game of tic-tac-toe that they were playing together. In response, Mark “put his hand on his shoulder and schooled him,” writes Henson. Johnson told their son: “Use your head, black man.”
Three weeks later, Henson got a call from Mark’s mother about his tragic death. Though she doesn’t share details surrounding his death and never uses his full name, news reports at the time indicated that her boyfriend, William LaMarr “Mark” Johnson, was violently beaten and stabbed after a confrontation over slashed tires.