The Untold Truth Of Jamie Foxx

This feature references sexual assault and racism. 

Jamie Foxx might very well be one of the most talented actors of his time. Witty, charismatic, and versatile, the multi-talented performer has managed to become a revered Hollywood star thanks to his commitment to excellence. "I completely step into the role," Foxx once told Oprah of his approach to acting. "... When you take on a role, there's no formula — you just have to keep working until you perfect the characterization." 

Long before he became the Jamie Foxx we know and love, he was an up-and-coming comic finding his place in Hollywood. And so when he was cast in the 1990 sketch comedy series "In Living Color" the young comedian knew he had to make the most of it. And he did. So much so that after the show wrapped up production in 1994, Foxx found that an abundance of music and movie opportunities were starting to stack up for him.

In the years that have since passed, Foxx has enjoyed tremendous success in his career with a slew of awards and achievements to show for it. Still, it is in the simple things like spending time with his family that the Oscar-winning performer finds true fulfillment. "I was the only child growing up so I always wanted to have that family. So, right now my whole family lives with me," he revealed during a 2021 appearance on "Live with Kelly and Mark."

Apart from his seemingly chaotic living situation, here are some things you probably never knew about Jamie Foxx.

Jamie Foxx was raised by his grandmother

Born Eric Marlon Bishop to Darrell Bishop and Louise Annette Talley Dixon in 1967, Jamie Foxx's childhood was anything but easy. With his parents absent from his life, Foxx was raised by his grandparents Estelle and Mark Talley. "For whatever reason, my biological parents didn't want to make the effort. Legally, my mother is my sister, because the lady who adopted her, in turn, adopted me," Foxx explained in a 2005 interview with The Sunday Times

At the time, Foxx's grandparents were employed as domestic workers for white families and despite the racism and unfavorable working conditions they experienced, Estelle and Mark shielded their young grandson from the cold reality of life. "My grandmother was my protector,' the actor explained. "She did battle for me. She said, 'This boy's special. He's got something.' There was no question that I was their son. I always felt loved there." 

Unsurprisingly, through the years, Foxx has continued to reference and celebrate his grandparents, particularly Estelle whom he credits for his successful career. In 2005, during his Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actor, the "Ray" star described his grandmother as his first acting teacher. "She told me, 'Stand up straight. Put your shoulders back. Act like you got some sense,'" he said. Estee had sadly died a year earlier, aged 95. However, her legacy clearly lives on in her beloved grandson. No doubt, she is looking down on him with pride!

He was a talented child

Jamie Foxx's earliest years might have been rough but even amidst the chaos, one thing was evident — he was a boy of many talents. His grandparents were devoutly Baptist, and it was his attendance at church that nurtured his musical talents. Foxx began playing the piano aged 5. And as he journeyed into his teenage years, he picked up an interest in singing. Before long he was named choir leader of his church and became a part-time pianist there too for $75 a week. Of course, music was not the only thing Foxx excelled at.

As a teenager, Foxx also enjoyed sports and playing both basketball and football at Terrell High School — and he was pretty accomplished too. The young quarterback was able to pass the ball for over 1,000 yards.  Given his apparent skills, Foxx hoped to become a professional NFL player — a dream that was soon dashed. "I wanted to be a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys," he revealed in a 2007 interview with Deseret News. "But when you find out you're not big enough, you've got to find something else to do."

In addition to his extra-curricular activities, Foxx excelled academically. So much so that following his high school education, he was offered a scholarship to study at the United States International University where he graduated with a degree in classical music and composition.

He's had an interesting music career‌

Outside of his incredibly successful acting career, Jamie Foxx has also enjoyed relative success in another area — his music career. Though his first album "Peep This" was a flop, Foxx made a better comeback with the release of his second album "Unpredictable" which peaked at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. This however was not the album's biggest milestone as it has since been certified double platinum. 

Since "Unpredictable," he has gone on to release three more studio albums — "Intuition" in 2008, "Best Night of My Life" in 2010, and "Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses in 2015. Jamie also won his first Grammy Award, taking home the Best R&B Performance category for "Blame It," a track on "Intuition" featuring T-Pain. Through the years, Jamie has enjoyed steady success, a feat he credits to two people — his older daughter Corinne Foxx and rapper Kanye West.

During his early days in the music industry, Corinne advised her father to collaborate more with younger artists — a tip he remains grateful for. "A lot of times in order to be successful with music, you have to listen and sometimes allow other people to sort of steer you in the right direction," Jamie told the Independent. Additionally, during an appearance on "The Ellen Show," the "Ray" star revealed that collaborating with Kanye West on the tracks, "Slow Jamz" and "Gold Digger" took his successful music career to the next level. 

Jamie Foxx's legal issues

In an industry where stars often make the headlines for their many run-ins with the law, Jamie Foxx has done a decent job staying out of trouble. Still, he is not completely without legal drama of his own. In April 2003, Foxx and his sister Diedra Dixon made headlines after getting into an altercation at a New Orleans Casino. As reported by CNN, the two siblings allegedly refused to show their IDs upon entry at the casino. Foxx and Dixon were then accused of ending their night with verbal and physical exchanges against the police.

The "Annie" actor was charged with trespassing, battery on officers, and resisting arrest while Dixon faced charges of trespassing, simple battery on officers, aggravated battery, and resisting arrest, per Entertainment Weekly. After agreeing to a plea deal, Foxx was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail sentence, two years probation, and a $1,500 fine. Dixon on the other hand received a suspended sentence of six years in prison and five years probation. She was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and $13,000 compensation to the officers.

Despite maintaining a clean slate in the years that followed, Foxx once again made headlines in 2018 after a woman accused him of sexual assault 16 years earlier. In a statement to People, Foxx denied the allegation, adding that he would be taking legal actions to clear his name. Barely one month later, the case was closed because according to TMZ, the statute of limitation ran out in 2005.

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).

He has a close bond with his sisters

He is often surrounded by many of the world's biggest stars but to Jamie Foxx, very few people shine as bright as his little sister Deondra Dixon. "DeOndra has a light on that has been on since she was born," he gushed to "Dateline" in 2018 about his sibling, a proud ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Beyond her shining light, Foxx has also credited her for keeping him grounded through the chaos of fame, adding, "You get caught up in all this Hollywood, and it really doesn't matter. She brings you back down to what life is."

In October 2020, Deondra sadly died at the age of 36. Announcing the news in an Instagram post, Foxx was understandably devastated, writing, in part, "My heart is shattered into a million pieces ... Tho my pain is unbelievable, I smile when I think of all of the great memories that she left me ... my family ... and her friends." Since her passing, Foxx has continued to honor his little sister's memory. "Deondra I know [you're] in heaven making everyone laugh ... and have everyone dancing to your songs," he wrote in a March 2023 Instagram post.

Deondra isn't the only sibling the "Annie" star has a close bond with, as he has since proven to be just as close to his other sister Diedra Dixon. "When I say I love her to the moon and back, it's not enough," Foxx once gushed on Instagram about her.

His relationship with his parents has evolved

Growing up, Jamie Foxx had little to no relationship with his birth parents Darrel Bishop and Louise Talley Dixon. And despite the love and support he received from his grandparents, Foxx revealed in his 2021 memoir "Act Like You Got Some Sense" how he struggled with his parents' absence. "When you're adopted and you know who your biological parents are ... it's like, 'Hey, I'm right f***ing here,'" he wrote. Sadly, despite their attempt at building a connection, Foxx was never able to maintain a relationship with his biological dad — at the time of Bishop's death, the two were not on speaking terms. "I ended up not feeling anything. The relationship was dead for so long," Foxx wrote of his father's death.

Foxx's relationship with his former stepfather George Dixon was a far cry from what he had with Bishop. After serving a seven-year prison sentence, Foxx invited George to come live with him — a request he made out of sheer love. A few years later, Foxx's mother Louise also moved in with him. And despite being divorced, Louise and George found a way to get along quite fine. "They live under the same roof and what's crazy is that he still dates, and my mother will go to his side of the house to check things out!" Foxx explained, per US Weekly. "It's a weirdly fun household."

Jamie Foxx's complicated relationship with Corinne Foxx

Between being one of Hollywood's most revered actors and pursuing his music career, Jamie Foxx has a lot on his hands. Unsurprisingly, the star was sometimes not able to completely fulfill his parental duties to his two daughters Corinne and Annalise. In "Act Like You Have Sense," Foxx opened up about his relationship with his older daughter Corinne, revealing that they once went into therapy to improve their relationship. "Like too many dads, I wasn't listening to her when she tried to talk to me, instead giving her my opinion about what she should be doing," he recounted in the book. "I think my fame also got in the way." 

Despite having all of her basic needs met, Corinne revealed in therapy that she once struggled to love her father — a confession Foxx says broke his heart. "I think I might have blacked out for a second when I heard that sentence. I was devastated," he wrote. Fortunately, the father-daughter duo has since worked on reviving their bond and now, things couldn't be any better. "Just in general my dad is like the most supportive dad in the world," Corrine gushed to People in 2019. "The fact that he believes in me, without a doubt — it gives me the confidence to do so much." These days, Foxx and Corinne couldn't be prouder of each other for their individual successes.

Marriage may never be on the cards for him

Don't expect there to be a Mrs. Foxx because there might never be one. Speaking in 2021, Jamie Foxx revealed he had no plans of ever getting married because it never sounded appealing to him. "The 2.5 children, the wood paneling on the station wagon, and the cottage, I didn't think that was for me," he admitted during an interview with E! News. If you think the "Annie" star might end up getting convinced otherwise, he says people around him know better than to try. "The pressure of being married, I don't think we can have a conversation about it. I just keep moving," he explained.

Thanks to deciding against matrimony, Foxx believes his relationship with his kids, Corinne, and Annalise was preserved from the troubles that a failed marriage would have brought. "A lot of those marriages ended up not doing well as the kids got older. Unfortunately, we saw the kids get fractured from their families," he said of his fears.  "Us, we actually came together more. So I don't know what that is, I just know that it is different but it's a whole lot of love."

But even though marriage might not be on his mind, Foxx is not closing the door on love. The actor was in a notoriously private relationship with "Dawson Creek's" star Katie Holmes from 2013 up until 2019.

He drew inspiration from adversity

Rather than feel sorry for himself, Jamie Foxx is determined to make the best of whatever difficult situations life throws at him. In 2019's "Just Mercy," the actor depicted Walter McMillian, a man wrongfully convicted of murder in the '80s. Foxx received critical acclaim for his powerful performance, for which he drew inspiration from his dad's personal experience in prison. "Me having my father, he was put away for 25 dollars worth of illegal substance for seven years," he confessed to ET. "My father taught me how to play tennis, he taught me how to swim, and to have him taken away from me, I could easily sort of tap into what this story was about."

The horrendous working conditions that his grandparents, Estelle and Mark Talley, faced while working for rich white families also pushed him to aspire to great success. "My grandmother had to take a lot of disrespect,' he recounted to The Sunday Times. "They'd call her at all hours and say, 'Get over here!' It used to burn me up. They'd call my grandfather, when he was 79, at five in the morning and say, 'We need you here!' I hated that. I decided that won't be me. No, not that. Not me.'"

One Oscar, one Grammy, a long list of movie credits, and millions of dollars later, it's safe to say that Foxx has since put this motivation to good use.