Actor Laurence Fishburne has revealed he went to therapy after physically abusing his first wife.
Fishburne, known for his strong portrayal of Ike Turner in Tina Turner’s 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It, appeared on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast.
During the interview, Hill asked him how he prepared for his role as Ike Turner. Instead of giving a vague answer, Fishburne spoke candidly about the personal experience that shaped her portrayal of Ike.
“Having had some experience with it as a young man, I did a lot of counseling,” Fishburne said.
He then credited the black therapist he hired at the time with helping him deal with his “anger issues” that led him to be physically abusive in his first marriage.
“I got married when I was twenty-three, my first wife was twenty-one,” he explained, referring to his ex-wife Hajna O. Moss.
He said he spent about five years in therapy and used his past experience to exploit the role of Ike Turner, who physically abused Tina Turner during their marriage.
He explained, “So I was very familiar with the territory and the emotional landscape of what, you know, gets a person to that place where they feel the need to abuse their partner.”
When asked if he had ever identified the root of his past abuse, Fishburne touched on identifying his triggers.
He said: “It was really about knowing how to recognize it when it showed up, what were my triggers and what were the behaviors I could use to counter it. That would help me move in a different direction.”