The Untold Truth Of Tiffany Haddish

The following article includes allegations of domestic abuse, child abuse, and sexual assault.

Tiffany Haddish was one of 2017's breakout stars after her role in "Girls Trip" skyrocketed her to fame. Since then, it seems like she's been working nonstop. From doing the voice of Tuca on "Tuca and Bertie" to starring in more films like "Night School" and "On the Count of Three," Haddish has certainly been making her mark in Hollywood. But, like a lot of celebs, life hasn't always been easy for her.

"When I was a kid and I was moving around, all my stuff had to be in trash bags, and moving like that is not good for the self-esteem because it [makes] you feel like garbage that can easily be transported to here or there," Haddish told Variety. "You start thinking of yourself as such, as garbage. That was the worst feeling in the world personally."

Read on to find out about her awful childhood, which was filled with abuse and bullying, her dreams of being a farmer with Oprah Winfrey, her friendship with Barbra Streisand, and some troubling legal issues she's been facing.

Tiffany Haddish was severely abused by her mentally ill mom

Tiffany Haddish's childhood wasn't easy. In her memoir, "The Last Black Unicorn," the comedian shared the abuse she experienced at the hands of her mother. As the story goes, Haddish's mom was involved in a terrible car accident that left her brain damaged. "I was told every day I'd never be nothing," Haddish told People. "Now I look in the mirror and say, 'Tiffany Haddish, I love and approve of you.' It was all worth it." She recalled other nasty remarks her mother often made, adding, "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.' ... 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."

A few years later, after an altercation with a neighbor, Haddish's mom was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a disorder. "The doctors decided she's schizophrenic," Haddish wrote. "So my mom went into a state mental facility."

Haddish's mom remains under medical care. It's the comedian's wish to use her fame and money to help her mom return to the person she used to be, according to People.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

She grew up in foster care

Because of her mom's mental illness, Tiffany Haddish was forced to grow up rather quickly. She often took care of her siblings and herself. "I was basically a 10-year-old mom," she bluntly told People.

Once child services got involved, things went from bad to worse. "I was in group homes for a while," she wrote in her memoir, "The Last Black Unicorn." "I hate thinking about that. It was more like prison. My comedy skills came in real handy. I thought that if I made these girls laugh they wouldn't beat me up. But bully girl said, 'Ahh b***h, we still going to beat your ass ... but you funny.'"

Speaking with the Tampa Bay Times about her harrowing past, Haddish recalled the emotional rollercoaster. "I remember being in the system until I wasn't worth anything (in state funding)," Haddish said. "When I talk to some of my comedy buddies now they'll say: 'Tiffany, you ain't never been afraid.' And I'm thinking to myself: 'Well, you obviously never knew me.'"

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Tiffany Haddish lived in her car for a while

Tiffany Haddish has never been shy about her difficult moments. Even two years after her career really took off due to the popularity of "Girls Trip," she got nostalgic about a promise she made to herself before she became successful in Hollywood. On Instagram, she posted a photo of herself doing standup years ago and wrote, in part: "I look at this picture and want to cry tears of joy for this Girl. I remember that night. She was homeless, hungry, scared, and hurt. I promised her if she kept faith in God and Herself, We will get to a place where we will be Housed, Over Fed, Less Hurt and Fear Free."

According to E! News, Haddish opened up in her memoir about being homeless after she was kicked out of the house by her grandmother at 18 years old. The outlet went on to explain that, in Haddish's memoir "The Last Black Unicorn," she described a time when she was couch surfing, couldn't afford her tuition, and even lived in her car. When she was living in her car, Kevin Hart gave her $300 to get proper housing for a week, which she still plans on paying back, though Hart himself called it an investment, not a loan.

She wants to farm with Oprah Winfrey

Tiffany Haddish had big dreams for the future when she first reached Hollywood, and they involved the legendary media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who is known — among other things — for her impressive farm. "One of my goals, girl, is to meet Oprah Winfrey, right?" Haddish once told Ellen DeGeneres on "The Ellen Show."

"And then she'd be my auntie. Auntie O. And then we'd both be gardening together and stuff, right? She got a good garden. She got yard! ... So, I meet her, right, and then we gonna start, like ... a co-op, and then the next thing you know we gonna start our own little booth and we gonna go to, like, farmers' markets together and stuff together and it'll be 'Tiff and O's Vegetables!'" Haddish dished. She ultimately dreamed of taking their veggies on a nationwide tour, with hope of inspiring everyone to eat healthier.

DeGeneres eventually played a part in Haddish meeting her idol, surprising the comedian with a visit from Oprah on a subsequent visit to "The Ellen Show," where they discussed their potential vegetable business. 

She suffered toxic shock from a tampon

In a candid interview with "The Breakfast Club," Tiffany Haddish revealed that she once had a scary medical moment. At age 13, she said she suffered toxic shock syndrome, a medical condition that is usually gotten from a tampon, which Haddish said was the case in her situation. She also said the experience forever changed her life.

"So this is like my third period I ever had," Haddish recalled. "There were no maxi pads, nothing in the house, nothing to use. But, underneath the sink there were these super absorbent tampons. So I was like, 'Psh, forget it.' So I put it in. ... I only had it in for about four or five hours, but as soon as I took it out I started itching, started scratching."

As time went on, the symptoms got worse. Her tongue shrunk in size, she experienced a burning sensation all over her body, and she became dehydrated. Her family took her to the emergency room, where she was interrogated by a nurse. "I ended up having to stay in the hospital for three days," Haddish detailed. "They hooked me up with all these IVs. I was 13 [and] got my first pap smear. They basically broke my hymen." Her nurse took the time to explain the medical emergency, adding that Haddish was allergic to a chemical found in the tampon. "If you ever use tampons again, it will be like committing suicide," Haddish said the nurse warned.

The comedian married her ex-husband on a bet

Tiffany Haddish married her ex-husband on a bet. Per an interview with "The Breakfast Club," she explained she met a policeman on a cruise and the two exchanged numbers. Though they spoke over the phone for a year, the timing wasn't right, and the two eventually parted ways. 

However, years later, he tracked her down. Haddish said he had become a private investigator, so she asked him to find her biological father. According to the comedian, the man agreed — on one condition: That she'd marry him if he was successful. Haddish said it took a total of three weeks for him to find her bio-dad. "I'm a woman of my word," she then explained. "If I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it." Which means the two tied the knot. 

Their marriage lasted five years, and Haddish blamed its demise on his jealousy of her success. In her memoir, "The Last Black Unicorn," she wrote that she married and divorced him twice, but explained that his physical abuse eventually took a toll on her. "He grabbed me by the collar, he was like, 'It's time to go to the room now,' in front of everybody. 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," she explained.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

She made history on SNL

Early on in her career, Tiffany Haddish made history on "Saturday Night Live" when she became the first Black female stand-up comedian to host the show, according to ABC News. It was a monumental achievement for the newfound star and included a full circle moment for someone who had auditioned to be cast on the show numerous times, as she explained on "The Breakfast Club." 

The star told the hosts of "The Breakfast Club" that an awkward encounter with Lorne Michaels regarding her auditions wasn't the worst part of the week, however. She said her hosting duties were so stressful that she lost seven pounds throughout the week. She also said that their format took some getting used to, as she wanted to include her fellow "Girls Trip" stars in a few sketches, but the nature of the show meant that "SNL" couldn't book the stars far enough in advance to secure their appearances. 

Finally, she also said that the writing team was great, but they were also set in their ways. When Charlamagne tha God asked Haddish if she'd want to host "SNL" again in the future, she hesitantly agreed, but said she would like to have a bit of compromise. "The writers and stuff were really great," she assured listeners. "They were really awesome. The writers and the performers were phenomenal. ... Everybody else is what they is."

Tiffany Haddish says female comedians face many challenges

Rising to the top of the comedy world isn't easy, something that Tiffany Haddish is intimately familiar with. In her memoir, "The Last Black Unicorn," she explained that the comedy scene is filled with sexual harassment against female comedians. "I can't tell you how many [promoters] tried to tell me that to get onstage, I had to get on my back," she wrote in her memior. Her response was always a powerful "Hell no!"

She discussed the tough environment and getting her start in comedy with People, saying, "It seemed like everybody wanted to get in my panties. It was constant defending and battling. These men will try you every single time." She added, "Once they figure out you're strong and you don't roll like that, then they start treating you like a colleague." However, she did tell the publication there was one bright spot along the rocky journey: Kevin Hart. She called the buzz-worthy comedian her "comedy guardian angel."

Haddish also explained how not all of the women she started out with were able to dodge the negativity. "I look back at other women that started with me that were hilarious, they were superstars, but they compromised," she said.

Hollywood welcomed her with open arms

Tiffany Haddish has skyrocketed to fame, and Hollywood has since fully embraced her, allowing her to form some meaningful relationships with fellow celebrities. For example, one Thanksgiving, soon after "Girls Trip" premiered, she found herself at a dinner party with the legendary Barbra Streisand, and she's since rubbed elbows with some impressive people. 

Weeks later, Haddish told Ellen DeGeneres all about her experience with Streisand. "We recently met at Ron Meyer's house, he's the chairman over at [NBC] Universal or whatever," she detailed. "He invited me over for dinner and a movie, right? And then there she was, Barbra Streisand. She's like, 'Tiffany!' And I'm like, 'What up, girl!'" Haddish said she and Streisand bonded over music. "I had informed her about Cardi B and how she just transformed her whole life and how she's a role model to children, and how we have to be role models to young girls and show you can empower yourself," she explained. "You can have whatever you want in life."

Haddish also dished on her potluck night with Taylor Swift, who she met while hosting "Saturday Night Live." The comedian requested that Swift make barbecue chicken, potato salad, and brisket, while Haddish said she'd bring the collard greens. "Taylor can cook, okay," the actor declared. "She can cook. The chicken was bomb! And she made cornbread: bomb! So good!"

She revealed why she pooped in her ex's shoes

A word of caution: Don't cheat on this comedian. Tiffany Haddish, who is no stranger to drama and bad relationships, found a unique way to get back at her cheating ex-boyfriend. As she wrote in "The Last Black Unicorn," "Dating has been hard for me my whole life," which may explain why she took such drastic action when her former boyfriend wronged her.

"I ate a lot of corn. A lot. And I didn't chew it so well," she wrote of a time she cold-heartedly decided to poop in her ex-boyfriend's expensive Jordan shoes. After Haddish did the dirty deed, she didn't tell him what happened. Rather, she allowed him to discover the mess when he slipped them on. In that moment of sweet revenge, she let him know he stepped in "All the sh*t you put me through!"

Thinking back on that time, Haddish told People, "I know I'm crazy. ... I always try to think of ways to get revenge without going to jail." However, she doesn't seem to have closed the door on dating forever. "I'm open to whatever God puts in front of me and makes my heart pitter patter," she explained to the publication.

Tiffany Haddish says she owes her success to her bullies

Tiffany Haddish knows better than anyone that bullies can leave emotional scars. Luckily for her, she was able to channel that negative energy into something positive, crediting her childhood bullies for her success. "I'm fixing to take all the mean stuff [those] bullies used to say about me and I'm going to make money off it," she quipped on "Good Morning America" while promoting her memoir, "The Last Black Unicorn."

She also explained the unique book title. "I used to get picked on at school a lot," she said. "What I thought was a mole was a wart. I had a wart growing out of my forehead and it kind of looked like a horn and kids used to call me a dirty unicorn. It used to hurt my feelings really bad and I did things to myself that I probably shouldn't have." Then Haddish began to think about those awful comments. "They're saying this for a reason," she explained. "Obviously they like me because they're looking at my horn. Obviously they're into me." 

Haddish has definitely capitalized on her bullies' taunts, with a current net worth of $6 million. She also seemingly hasn't stopped working, with numerous films and TV shows under her belt, per IMDb.

She dropped the ball on New Year's Eve

Tiffany Haddish may be an actor, but she will always be a stand-up comedian at heart, almost consistently touring and performing when not on set. However, she doesn't always have the best nights, and sometimes she drops the ball, like she did for the New Year's Eve show of her "She Ready" tour in 2018. 

According to The Root, the "Girls Trip" star had a hard time remembering some of her jokes and punchlines, bombing so hard that audience members started walking out. "This is going to be on TMZ or whatever," she reportedly told the booing crowd.

Haddish eventually took to Twitter to address her lousy night. "Yes, this happened. I wish it was better Miami. I prayed on it and I have a strong feeling this will never happened [sic] again." And, as she predicted, TMZ did catch up with her, where she revealed that she "might have went a little bit overboard" celebrating her successful 2018 before the show. "Miami is a really dope city, and I probably shouldn't turn up before work," she said. "Lesson learned."

She's worn her white Alexander McQueen dress multiple times

Celebrities aren't really known for wearing gowns multiple times, especially for major events. But that hasn't stopped Tiffany Haddish from strutting out in her stunning, white Alexander McQueen dress eight times (and counting). Haddish told People that her now ex-boyfriend Common thought it was funny that folks are so interested in her rewearing a dress. (We can't blame her, for its price, she should get good use of the dress). She further told People that the dress has become sentimental for her because she's worn it on such big stages, like at the Oscars and the MTV Music Awards.

"It was like, wow I'm having these huge moments in this dress," she told the outlet. "I spent so much money, and every time I wear it, it's like another huge moment. Maybe the next time I wear it, it'll be at my wedding reception!" We shouldn't be surprised that Haddish is making good use of her dress, which initially gave her sticker shock, according to an interview she gave to W. The gown was $4,122, so she was determined to wear it multiple times, no matter what anyone else thought.

The actor celebrated her Bat Mitzvah when she was 40

Although a Bat Mitzvah is ordinarily celebrated when a girl turns 12 or 13 in the Jewish tradition (depending on the denomination), Tiffany Haddish wasn't going to let that stop her from taking that big step in her religious life. According to the BBC, Haddish (who is Eritrean-American), met her Eritrean Jewish father for the first time when she was 27. The outlet reported that it was after taking a DNA test that Haddish discovered her Jewish heritage and wanted to engage further with the faith.

So, on December 3, 2019, Haddish celebrated her Bat Mitzvah on her 40th birthday and simultaneously launched a new special called "Black Mitzvah" on Netflix, according to the Jewish Women's Archive. JWA reported that, in her comedy special, Haddish discusses the difficulties of being Black in the Jewish community. The sentiment was shared by many other Black Jews, who described their own perspectives of being a person of color in the Jewish faith after Haddish's Bat Mitzvah.

Tiffany Haddish was arrested in early 2022

Trouble with the law sadly seemed to be a theme for Tiffany Haddish in 2022. In January, she was charged with a DUI. Per CNN, Haddish was arrested after someone called 911 to report a driver asleep at the wheel in Peachtree City, Georgia. At the time, Haddish was dealing with a lot of loss after her dog died and she said goodbye to friends Bob Saget and Carl Craig. All that loss led to her telling ET that her life was falling apart before the DUI arrest.

A few weeks after the arrest, Haddish told Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" that she had been praying for a new man before she was pulled over. "I can say this Jimmy, I've been praying to God to send me a new man, a good man," she joked. "And God went ahead and sent me four in a uniform. I wasn't expecting it." She then added that she and her lawyer were going to work out the charges.

She was accused of sexual misconduct

In early September 2022, Tiffany Haddish was accused of sexual misconduct. Along with fellow comedian Aries Spears, the two have been accused of inappropriate behavior involving two minors. According to The Daily Beast, the anonymous plaintiffs, Jane and John Doe, alleged that they were both underage (Jane is now 22 and John is 15) when Haddish and Spears had them engage in suggestive acts for their comedy sketches. The outlet reported that the lawsuit centers on two separate alleged incidents of such inappropriate behavior, when Jane and John were 14 and 7 years old, respectively.

"Haddish verbally explained what was expected of Plaintiff Jane Doe and then showed Plaintiff Jane Doe how to give fellatio, including movements, noises, moaning, and groaning," the lawsuit states, according to The Daily Beast. "I knew a hundred percent what they wanted out of me," Jane told the outlet. The lawsuit further alleges that Haddish was present when Spears molested John on camera (per People).

A few days after the accusation went public, Haddish posted a response on Instagram that read, in part: "I know people have a bunch of questions. I get it. I'm right there with you. Unfortunately, because there is an ongoing legal case, there's very little that I can say right now." She further wrote that she regrets making the sketch, which she doesn't find funny upon further reflection.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).