Viola Davis Opens Up About The Difficult Relationship She Had With Her Father

Viola Davis is known for captivating audiences with her demanding presence in films like "The Help" and "Widows" — the latter of which earned Davis her first Academy Award. The actor's storied career spans over two decades and began with her time as a student at The Juilliard School of Performing Arts. Davis is now undoubtedly one of the most sought-after entertainers in the business, but the Rhode Island native comes from more humble beginnings.

The actor, who made history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, has spoken at length about her experience growing up in poverty. While speaking at the 2017 Massachusetts Conference for Women, the Oscar-winner revealed that she both witnessed and was a victim of domestic abuse. "My father was an alcoholic. There was a lot of domestic violence," she said. Adding, "I was a bedwetter until I was 14, and a lot of times we didn't have any money for laundry" (via Essence). Now, Davis is opening up about how she feels about her and her father's fractured relationship.

Viola Davis says she forgave her father

Viola Davis has always been vocal about her experience with child poverty. The "Fences" actor further elaborated on that tumultuous period of her life in an interview with People magazine. The actor — whose upcoming memoir, "Finding Me," hits shelves on April 26 — revealed to the outlet that she decided to forgive her father, despite the years of abuse he inflicted on their family.

"My dad changed," the actor said of her father, Dan, who died in 2006 of pancreatic cancer. Davis goes on to explain that the decision to mend her relationship with her father came after learning he had made amends with his wife (and Davis's mother), Mae Alice. "My mom said he apologized to her every single day. Every single day, he rubbed her feet. Forgiveness is not pretty."

Davis has previously spoken about the love she has for her father and was sure to mention him during her induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017. "The only thing I could think about is my dad," she said during the ceremony. "I wish he were here." (via USA Today).