Taraji P. Henson is opening up about healing from the heartbreak of her son’s father’s murder.
In a preview clip of Wednesday’s episode of her new talk show, “Peace of Mind with Taraji,” the “Empire” alum broke down in tears as she recalled the experience of telling her then 9-year-old son, Marcell, that his father had died.
“My son’s father was suddenly taken, murdered, when he was 9, and I didn’t know how to tell him that,” Henson told co-host Tracie Jade Jenkins and therapist Sierra Hillsman. “I couldn’t tell him he was murdered, so I told him he died in an accident.”
The actor’s ex-boyfriend, William “Mark” Johnson, was stabbed to death in 2003 after reportedly confronting a couple for slashing his friend’s tires, according to The Washington Post.
“Later on in life, he found out and he came back to me and was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me my daddy was murdered?’ And so then we had to get therapy,” the “Hidden Figures” star continued.
The Golden Globe winner said she was at at loss over how to communicate the details of the tragedy to her young son.
When prompted for advice on how to break such devastating news to children, Hillsman encouraged viewers to “use age-appropriate language” and explained that in this situation, she would say, “People do evil things to other people.”
″I didn’t have the balls — it wouldn’t come out,” a tearful Henson replied. “It was in the paper and I didn’t know how to tell him. He was stabbed to death, it was the worst way you could die.”
“I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t know how to tell a 9-year-old,” she added.
In her 2016 memoir “Around The Way Girl,” Henson touched on her volatile romance with Johnson, whom she met at 17 years old while growing up in Washington, D.C. The actor claimed that Johnson was physically abusive during their relationship, which ended shortly before his death.
“With that separation, my forever man, my first love, was no more,” she wrote.
Following the breakout success of Facebook Watch’s “Red Table Talk,” the actor launched “Peace of Mind with Taraji” on the video platform in December. The talk show aims to tackle mental health issues with a particular focus on the Black community and features a slew of celebrity guests, including Gabrielle Union, Jay Pharoah, Tamar Braxton and Mary J. Blige.