Queen Latifah Admits to "Numbing" Herself With Alcohol After Tragedy

Celebrity News Dec. 11, 2013 AT 10:10AM
Queen Latifah on the cover of Good Housekeeping In the January issue of Good Housekeeping, Queen Latifah admits to "numbing" herself with alcohol in the past to cope with a tragedy. "I wasn't living my full life," she says. Credit: Ari Michelson

Queen Latifah has learned from her mistakes. In the January issue of Good Housekeeping, the 43-year-old actress recalls using alcohol in the past to ease her pain after tragedy. She now says she focuses on "accentuating the positive" in her life.

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Though she appears joyful on the cover, wearing a bright red dress and a big smile, Latifah opens up to the magazine about some of her darkest moments. In 1995, the talk show host was the victim of a violent carjacking in which her passenger friend was shot and nearly died. Latifah said she didn't cope with the shock of the incident well. "Drinking a bunch of alcohol, numbing myself," she recalled. "Every day I would be faded, like a painting that's just not vibrant, whose edges are dull. I wasn't living my full life." More celebrity meltdowns here.

The Grammy-winning singer's life was also "rocked to to the core" when her older brother, Lancelot Jr., was killed in a crash in 1992. The accident occurred while he was riding the motorcycle Latifah gave him as a gift. Rather than swear off riding, Latifah got back on her motorcycle about a month after the tragic loss. "Riding was one of the things Lance and I did together a lot," she explained. "I had to get back on. It was like a [healing] potion." 

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Latifah has consistently worked hard throughout her life and career to focus on the positives.

"I think I got to that place by not being happy with the other side -- hating your body and criticizing yourself all the time. When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, You're either going to love yourself or hate yourself. And I decided to love myself," Latifah said. "That changed a lot of things." 

She also fought to make it in Hollywood without changing her appearance.

"For a lot of the things I've wanted to do in life, I haven't looked typical," the Joyful Noise star said. "I was not born a size 2. I'm not skinny, period. I'm not willing to sleep with the director or step on somebody else's neck to get the job."

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For more of Latifah's interview, pick up the January issue of Good Housekeeping on newsstands Dec. 17.

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