Attorney for Injured Tracy Morgan Says It's Unclear if He'll Ever Perform Again
An attorney for Tracy Morgan has revealed that the 30 Rock star suffered a brain injury when a Walmart tractor-trailer smashed into his limo bus this summer, and it remains unclear if the comedian and actor will ever perform again.
Lawyer Benedict Morelli told the New York Post on Tuesday that Morgan, 45, has been in physical and vocational therapy, working on speech and cognition issues after he was severely injured in the June 7 crash.
“The jury’s still out. The doctors don’t know the answer. I don’t know the answer,” Morelli told the Post about whether Morgan, who still uses a wheelchair and isn’t expected to be able to walk for months, will be able to return to his career.
The attorney added that Morgan, a father of four, has had to pass up several job opportunities and may have to undergo future surgeries. An FX series he was slated to star in was put on hold in June.
His recent comments echo what he told PEOPLE a few weeks ago about Morgan’s recovery progress and the long road ahead.
“When you say someone is a standup comedian, they need to stand up. It’s very rigorous to do that,” he said. “You need to have two things: You have to have a very strong body and stamina. And right now, he doesn’t have Tracy Morgan stamina.”
“And the second thing you have to do is have razor-sharp intellect and mind, and that’s the old Tracy Morgan. So that’s what he’s struggling with,” Morelli continued. “All of the people in the van who I represent had traumatic brain injuries. So that’s not a joke.”
The six-vehicle pileup also seriously injured two passengers and killed his friend and fellow comedian James “Jimmie Mack” McNair, adding to Morgan’s distress.
“He’s the kind of guy who tries to keep a very upbeat attitude. But he’s having a really tough time. It’s one of the reasons why you don’t see him up and about, because it’s just not easy,” Morelli said. “It’s an emotional struggle for him also because of the fact that he lost his close friend in the accident.”
Walmart claims that Morgan is at fault for not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
Truck driver Kevin Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by automobile. He remains free on bail.
“My friends and I were doing nothing wrong,” Morgan said in the statement. “I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I’m fighting hard every day to get back.”
• With reporting by MICHELLE TAN