‘I Was on Drugs, I Don’t Know What Was Going on’: Samuel L. Jackson Says He Doesn’t Remember the Story of Getting Engaged to His Wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson, 74, and his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson, 73, married in 1980, but their recollection of the story behind their engagement differs drastically. 

The “Coach Carter” star appeared on “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” on Monday, May 22, where he recalled how he and his wife of over 40 years remembered their betrothal.

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson attend Boris Kodjoe’s 50th Birthday Party at Hotel Bel-Air on March 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Boris Kodjoe)

During his appearance, Jackson told his side of the story, saying, “My story was I came home one day and she already had these invitations printed up and she gave me a stack and said, ‘Be here.’ ” 

After laughter from his comical take on their engagement subsided, the acting veteran revealed his wife’s memory of what transpired before they began planning to walk down the aisle in holy matrimony.

He told of his wife saying, ” ‘No that’s not what happened,’ ” he said, adding, “I actually had to go and talk to her grandfather ‘cause he told her he wanted to walk her down the aisle before he died and her living in sin with this man. So I went and asked her for her hand.”

Related: Samuel L. Jackson Reflects on Past Drug Addiction, How His Wife Saved Him and Their Marriage

Though their stories are vastly different, Jackson confessed to believing the actress’ story due to his being hazy from his previous drug addiction. 

“That’s probably what happened, ‘cause I was on drugs, and I don’t know what the h–l was going on in my life then,” he admitted. “She’s probably right.”

While he gave his wife credit for possibly telling the true story, Jackson explained liking his own version much better. 

“It sounds so much fun fun,” Jackson said. “You know a guy to come home and a woman to go, ‘Here,’ ” he said while gesturing to demonstrate being handed something by his then-girlfriend. 


The NAACP Award winner always has been vocal about his struggle with sobriety. As previously reported, Jackson talked to People magazine last year, where he candidly revisited some of his darkest days while fighting his drug addiction.

At one point in the interview, he called his past self a “troll in the basement” of his and Richardson Jackson’s brownstone house. 

With his addiction growing worse every day, some might have expected the “Losing Isaiah” actress to pack her bags and leave him, but she didn’t. 

“She could’ve just said, ‘Get out,’ ” Jackson said, “and left me into the world, let me go and be whatever I was going to be.”

Instead, the Spelman alumna decided that she was going to stick beside her Morehouse man and assist him through this struggle with the grace of God. 

She said, “God had spoken to me and said, ‘Now, you can’t leave this young man like this. Give him some help.’ ”

Now Samuel has been sober for over three decades, and come Aug. 18, the Jacksons will celebrate 43 years of marriage

Back to top