Lauren London sat down for her first interview since the death of Nipsey Hussle. The 35-year-old actress opens up about losing her partner to gun violence in an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk titled, “How Gun Violence Affects Women.”
The episode, portions of which were filmed earlier in the year, features activist Erica Ford, founder of the violence prevention organization, Life Camp.
London spoke with Pinkett Smith about her earliest experiences with gun violence. “Just growing up in L.A. in the area that I was around,” she recalled. “In high school, a lot of the boys were in gangs. I just remember that a lot of our friends by summer time they were gone. They had transitioned from gun violence. So you kind of got a little bit, I don’t want to say numb, but used to hearing it.”
Pinkett Smith pointed out that growing up around constant gun violence is akin to living in a “war zone,” and becomes normalized.
“Even going to a party in high school…you always knew where the exit was because you knew at any time smoking can happen,” said London. “That’s traumatizing to be 16 years old and having to be on guard when you go to a party.”
London went on to spoke about healing through the trauma of losing Nipsey, the joy that she gets when people tell her the influence that he had on their lives, and raising sons.
“What I instill in them is more about the police,” London said of her children. “How to handle yourself if you get pulled over. That’s more of my [education] protecting them being Black men in America.”
London has also found a tribe among other women who have lost loved ones to gun violence, and has been leaning into her friends and family for support.
“For me, what’s really been important is connecting with God. That’s been a struggle because something horrible happens in your eyes and you’re like ‘How God?’ And knowing that there is life after this life, it’s not easy. I don’t always wake up on the enlightened side of the bed, and the days I don’t, I let myself because I’m human. I’m gentle with myself. I’m finding things that matter, so I try to live with a purpose. When I’m having a bad day I mediate, I go within.
“I think it’s important for people that love you to remind you [of] who you are because trauma and violence and just life can make you feel down,” London explained. “To have people that love you, that remind you that you matter, that you’ll be okay and you can do this, that’s been very important for me.”
Watch the episode below.