Entertainment TV How 'black-ish' 's Jenifer Lewis Talked Her Would-Be Rapist Out of Assaulting Her "He left and I stood in shock. Then I fell to my knees and fainted," black-ish's Jenifer Lewis writes in The Black Mother of Hollywood, excerpted in PEOPLE By Patrick Gomez Patrick Gomez Patrick Gomez is the Editor in Chief/General Manager of Entertainment Weekly. Formerly at People magazine and The A.V. Club, the Critics Choice and Television Critics Association member has appeared on 'Today,' 'Extra!,' 'Access Hollywood,' 'E! News,' 'CNN,' and 'Nightline,' and can be seen frequently on 'Good Morning America.' Follow the Texas Native at @PatrickGomezLA wherever your media is social for all things 'For All Mankind' 'Top Chef,' and puppy related. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 2, 2017 05:16 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Jenifer Lewis thought she was opening the door to a delivery man. “Suddenly a guy came into my apartment with a knife,” the black-ish actress tells PEOPLE of being in her early 20s in New York City. “He tried to rape, but I talked myself out of that. It was the greatest performance of my life.” Lewis, 60, says she convinced her would-be assailant that she had a venereal disease that would make him sick if he attempted to have sex with her. She details the harrowing incident — along with her battle with sex addiction and bipolar disorder — in her memoir The Black Mother of Hollywood, excerpted exclusively in the current issue of PEOPLE: “I shouldn’t be doing this!” [the attacker said.] “Especially to a sister. They locked me up for some s— I didn’t do! I just got out.” Suddenly I saw how skinny, fragile, and vulnerable this kid was. I sat down next to him and put my arm around his shoulder. “I’m sorry that happened to you. I will help you. Let me give you my number and you can call me.” Peter Zambouros “I’m sorry. I know you are gonna tell, but I just want you to know I am sorry.” He was not evil. He was just f—– up. He left and I stood in shock. Then I fell to my knees and fainted. The Mother of Black Hollywood is available for pre-order now.