"Girls Trip" star Tiffany Haddish hasn't lived an easy life, but her ability to overcome trauma and find success should be an inspiration for all.
Tiffany Haddish opened up about a "BOMB" dinner with Taylor Swift on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Monday, but what we she put down on paper in her new memoir is a heck of a lot more fascinating than that.
The breakout "Girls Trip" star and stand-up comedian of course brings the funny in "The Last Black Unicorn," but the book also features a collection of fearless essays that detail the hardships she had to overcome before she found fame. Or even turned 18.
Let's just say, if you think the years have been tough on you, take a look at Haddish's problems for a reality check. From her teenage illiteracy to foster home molestation to a sex tape revenge plot, here are five of the most shocking revelations from her inspiring life story.
Haddish Was Illiterate Until High School
According to Haddish's book, she "straight up could not read or write" until she was in ninth grade. The actress recounts her mother, step-father, grandmother and other peers at her school consistently calling her stupid. Haddish said she was able to "game school" by getting people to read everything to her since the way to succeed in school was "bullsh-t." Eventually a teacher caught on and offered to give her private lessons to help her catch up.
She Suffered Through Child Abuse
Since Haddish's father left their home when she was just 3 years old, her mother and grandmother were her main caretakers for much of her childhood. Haddish said her mother suffered a severe head injury from a bad car accident and after that incident, she started treating the actress differently, telling people she hates her daughter and calling her own daughter ugly. The domestic abuse begun once Haddish turned 9-years-old.
Haddish and her younger siblings were put in foster care once her mother was admitted into a state mental facility after she got into a fight with a male neighbor. According to Haddish's book, her mother hit the man with a two-by-four and accidentally hit his baby, who was uninjured.
Foster Care Molestation
Haddish lived in foster care from ages 13 to 18, and was allegedly bullied, slapped and exposed to marijuana smoke. When she was 13, one of the live-in fathers caught her stuffing her training bra with toilet paper and offered to help her out by sucking on her breasts to make them grow.
Haddish wrote that she allowed him to do it every day for 15 minutes before she went to school. The actress truly believed he was just trying to help until she turned 19 and a friend told her he was actually molesting her.
"In my mind, 'molested' meant somebody hurt you in some kind of way," she wrote. "Like, they took something from you that you didn't want to give and what the old man did never hurt. It didn't necessarily feel good, either, it was just whatever. And he never tried nothing else with me, not even once. It was just like - in my mind - he was helping me out."
Domestic Abuse During Volatiles Marriage(s) and a Miscarriage
Haddish married and divorced her now ex-husband twice, writing in her book how he was consistently violent and would regularly enter jealous fits of rage. Haddish said that he lashed out at her when he saw her talking to fellow comedian Tom Green at Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.
"He grabbed my by the collar, he was like, 'It's time to go to the room now,' in front of everybody," she wrote. "Just snatched me by my shirt, and pulled me to the elevator and threw me in it... once we got to our hotel room, he was so quick. He snatched me by the neck and slammed me into the wall."
Haddish claims her relationship's lowest point was when she turned herself into the police for thinking about killing her husband. The cops arrived to her location and saw that she was clearly beaten up, sent her to the hospital and arrested him. The next day, she found out she had a miscarriage. The actress didn't even know she was pregnant.
Sex Tape Revenge
Haddish also wrote about a time where she wanted to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend for cheating on her, so she pretended to get back together with him and gave him a pair of Air Jordans as a gift.
The catch? The sneakers had a camera in them, and she managed to record him having sex with another woman. She had a bootlegger add the footage into a "Charlie's Angels" VHS tape, then sent it to his family members.