How Tyrese Gibson Found His Smile Again After Paul Walker's Death

Celebrity News Jan. 14, 2014 AT 8:45PM
Tyrese Gibson on November 18, 2013 in New York City Tyrese Gibson opened up to Arsenio Hall about the death of his friend Paul Walker Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty

After some soul searching, Tyrese Gibson is ready to talk about the sudden death of his "best man" Paul Walker.

The 35-year-old, who co-starred with the late actor in the "Fast & Furious" franchise, said it took a 15-day trip to Dubai, where he celebrated his birthday with friends including Will Smith, to help him process his feelings and let go some of his deep sadness.

"I've never been depressed in my life, but I was very, very sad and down," Tyrese said on "The Arsenio Hall Show" on Monday. "It took me a minute to shake it."

[Related: New Paul Walker Video: Vin Diesel Shares Personal Footage Spotlighting Their Friendship]

The suddenness of it all -- Walker died in a fiery car crash in Santa Clarita, California, over Thanksgiving weekend after a charity event that raised funds for his foundation, Reach Out WorldWide -- is what rocked him.

"I was with him just four days before it happened," Tyrese said of Walker, whom he referred to as his "best man." "We was on the set shooting ['Fast & Furious 7' in Atlanta] and that was a lot of shock and trauma for the family and all of us involved, because he's such a nice guy."

[Related: Paul Walker Still Headlining 'Fast and Furious 7,' Now Opening in 2015]

Tyrese said his trip with his "best friend and mentor" Will and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, to the Middle East allowed him some space to heal.

"I found my smile again in Dubai," he told Hall.

The "Transformers" star was among the mourners at Walker's memorial service in December and was seen with the late star's family at a private beach gathering after the service. He thanked fans on behalf of Walker's family -- and the "F&F" family as well.

"A lot of times we can take people praying for us for granted, but it's really a form of rebuilding when you're in pain and you're confused and going through things," he said. "The family thanks y'all and we thank y'all for all the energy -- all of the prayers, tweets, Instagrams that you've sent all of us. We love y'all, appreciate y'all, and just thank you. It means a lot."

He added, "We just want to keep his memory and legacy and what he stood for going."

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