There are few actors more esteemed than Morgan Freeman. In his personal life he has not always been lucky and faced two divorces. His second marriage ended after 26 years in a nasty way, including his estranged wife Myrna Colley alleging an affair he had with his step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines.
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The end of a 26-year long marriage
Morgan Freeman was married to Jeanette Bradshaw between 1967 and 1979. Morgan already had two sons, Saifoulaye and Alfonso. Jeanette brought daughter Deena from a previous relationship into the marriage. It’s unknown why they divorced. Perhaps it was Morgan’s career. Perhaps the marriage had run its course.
Be that as it may, in 1984 Morgan Freeman married Myrna Colley-Lee, who was a theatre and costume designer. The two had daughter Morgana together, though they apparently also adopted Deena’s daughter E’Dena. Elsewhere it’s been said that Morgan and Myrna adopted Deena as well, but that couldn’t be confirmed. Family relations are a little bit muddled with the two wives and various extra-marital children from other relationships.
It is a fact that E’Dena was Deena’s daughter, who was Jeanette Bradshaws daughter. And Morgan considered E’Dena his granddaughter, even though they were not related by blood.
As it was, Myrna did help raise E’Dena. In 2007, then, Myrna and Morgan separated and in 2008 the divorce proceedings began. It is entirely unclear why the couple actually split up. Apparently Myrna once confirmed that she and Morgan had an open marriage, meaning the two were free to have other sexual partners. We don’t know whether that is actually true, however. It’s also been said that the couple hadn’t been intimate since 2001. That makes you wonder why they didn’t separate sooner, though.
There were allegations that Morgan had cheated on his wife with Demaris Meyer, who happened to be in a car accident with Morgan where both were badly injured. Demaris Meyer vehemently denied the accusation and sued Morgan for damages because of the car accident. Whilst no charges were filed, Morgan settled outside of court.
Later in 2008 the divorce proceedings became especially contentious, however. It took roughly two years for Morgan and Myrna to settle their divorce. In the end Myrna received $400 million and the two went separate ways.
An alleged affair between grandfather and granddaughter
For some reason Myrna Colley-Lee decided to accuse Morgan Freeman of a decade-long affair with his granddaughter E’Dena Hines. Strangely those reports only really emerged in 2011 and especially in 2012. By that time the divorce had already been finalized and the whole story was not exactly current anymore.
Apparently it had started when E’Dena was only 17 and it had continued for ten years. There were even claims that Morgan planned on marrying E’Dena once his divorce was through.
The resulting media frenzy was unpleasant to say the least.
Multiple reports cited ‘sources’ close to Morgan and his family or at least close to Myrna about encounters he and E’Dena had, even whilst she was still a teenager. The story was broken by the National Enquirer, which tells us all we need to know about its credibility. There are few stories coming out of that gossip rag that have ever conclusively proven to be true.
Morgan Freeman eventually published a statement about the whole nasty affair. He called them utterly ridiculous and added: “The recent reports of any pending marriage or romantic relationship of me to anyone are defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers. What is even more alarming is that these fabrications are now being picked up by the legitimate press as well.”
E’Dena felt compelled to add her own statements into the mix: ‘These stories about me and my grandfather are not only untrue, they are also hurtful to me and my family.’
There are many pictures of Morgan and E’Dena together. She was very much an aspiring actress and had multiple smaller roles, one in his film 5 Flights Up. She accompanied him several times to red carpet events, but there is nothing in those pictures that would suggest an intimate relationship. The two always looked like grandfather and granddaughter and Morgan appeared to be very proud of her, whilst E’Dena clearly looked up to him.
E’Dena is murdered
It would appear that the rumours quietened down again after Morgan and E’Dena both made their statements. Neither career actually seemed to suffer from this brief media frenzy and at least E’Dena was known to be in a relationship that was much more appropriate for her age. Unfortunately it also proved to be her last relationship.
Aspiring rapper and musician Lamar Davenport ended up killing E’Dena in 2015 in front of her home in what appeared to be a drug-fuelled rage. Multiple witnesses described an altercation and screaming and Lamar was still making stabbing movements when the police intervened, though the knife was actually lodged in E’Dena’s body.
Witnesses also said that Lamar was shouting something about the devil and Jesus, which led some to call the stabbing an “exorcism”.
Lamar was charged with second-degree murder to which he pleaded not guilty. Unfortunately we don’t know whether the trial is actually over yet. He was in court as recent as October 2017, but apparently there is no conviction yet.
Morgan Freeman issued the following statement after news of E’Dena’s murder emerged: ‘The world will never know her artistry in talent. Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.’
Interestingly his ex-wife Myrna was seen at E’Dena’s home hours after the stabbing, clearly looking stricken. Despite the fact that it was her who made the accusations of the affair, eventually she seemed to have reconciled with E’Dena. Or her untimely and violent death simply meant that this huge loss outweighs anything else. We don’t quite know what their relationship was at the time of E’Dena’s death, but Myrna did help raise the young woman and that certainly counts for something.