Tiffany Haddish Cries as She Talks About Her 'Very Violent' Mom: I Thought 'She Was Demonized'
"I used to think she was demonized. You never knew who she was going to be," Haddish said of her mother Leola
Tiffany Haddish grew emotional when recalling her struggles with her mother Leola.
The Girls Night actress, 39, opened up in an upcoming episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix about living with her mother after she survived a horrific car accident when Haddish was 8.
“When I was 8, about to be 9, she had a car accident and her head went through a windshield,” Haddish told David Letterman. “By the grace of God she lived, but she had to learn how to walk, talk, eat, everything all over again.”
The accident caused Haddish’s mother to change, says the actress.
“I didn’t want to be with my mom no more,” Haddish said. “She had became very violent and very verbally abusive. You never knew who she was going to be. Every day was like a different day.”
Haddish continued, “I used to be begging my mom if I could go live with my grandma. And my mom would yell, ‘She’s not your momma, I’m your momma!'”
The comedian began to cry as she recalled her mother’s struggles, saying, “I used to think she was demonized. I thought like maybe someone else jumped inside her body, like ‘Where’s my mommy?’ She’s gone.”
Haddish detailed her mother’s accident in her 2017 memoir The Last Black Unicorn.
“After the accident, oh my God, she would say the worst things to me, like ‘You look like your ugly ass daddy, I hate him. I hate you.'” Haddish wrote. “She couldn’t get all her words out, so she’d just punch me. Just full on. Because of her, I can take a punch like nobody’s business. Teachers would ask, ‘Why’s Tiffany’s lip busted?’ I didn’t say anything. As bad as she was to me, I still couldn’t help but love her.”
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When Haddish was 13, she says her mother got into an altercation with a neighbor that changed everything.
“The police ended up taking her to the hospital. The doctors decided she’s schizophrenic,” she wrote in the book. “So my mom went into a mental facility and me and my four younger sisters and brothers went into foster care. I was in group homes for a while. I hate thinking about that. It was more like prison. My comedy skills came in really handy. I thought that if I made these girls laugh they wouldn’t beat me up. But bully girl said, ‘Ahh b–ch, we still going to beat your ass . . . but you funny.'”