Mo’Nique reveals how she forgave Lee Daniels after 13-year feud


Mo’Nique has finally put her 13-year feud with her “Precious” director Lee Daniels behind her.

“It’s a new chapter,” the Oscar winner, 55, said of their ongoing drama in a long profile of the Hollywood reporter.

“But not because of Hollywood,” she clarified, saying it’s a “new chapter” because her grandchildren are growing up.

“Those things are the priority for me,” she said.

The “Parkers” alum offered an insight into the friendship they built when they first met at the now-closed LA restaurant Reign in 2004 — just half a decade before they made the 2009 indie drama.

Daniels, 63, asked her to star in his 2005 directorial debut, “Shadowboxer,” whose cast included Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr.

“We knew each other when there were no cameras on, when there was no red carpet,” she recalls. “We knew each other from phone calls at 3am.

“I saw a genius,” Mo’Nique said of watching Daniels direct.

“I saw someone who was fearless, such a visionary, someone who wasn’t afraid to unashamedly bring these characters together.”

Mo’Nique in her Oscar-winning turn as Mary Lee Johnston in 2009’s “Precious.”
©Lions Gate/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Fast forward to March 7, 2010, at the 82nd Academy Awards when Mo’Nique won the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her role in ‘Precious’.

Unfortunately, she didn’t thank Daniels in her acceptance speech.

Their split reportedly started when Mo’Nique believed she wouldn’t be paid enough on the promotional tour for “Precious.”

She also felt tired due to her hectic schedule and needed to catch her breath, later claiming that Daniels “obscured” her from getting roles in Hollywood.

A few years later, when Daniels was working on his 2013 Forest Whitaker film ‘The Butler’, he contacted Mo’Nique to play the lead role.

The comedian also starred in Daniels' 2005 film "Shadow boxer."
The comedian also starred in Daniels’ 2005 film Shadowboxer.

However, Oprah Winfrey landed the part the stand-up comedian was in for – that of Whitaker’s wife, Gloria Gaines.

Daniels and Mo’Nique didn’t speak to each other for a few more years after “The Butler” — until the filmmaker got in touch and noted that he wanted her for the role of Cookie Lyon in the Fox musical family drama “Empire.”

Instead, Taraji P. Henson won the role and eventually received a Golden Globe for her performance in 2016.

In 2022, the duo’s relationship began to heal when Daniels asked Mo’Nique to appear in his thriller “The Deliverance” – a role she accepted.

“He was like ‘OK, so I want to talk to you about this part.’ I said, ‘Lee, we can’t talk about a role until we talk,'” she said of his telephone contact with her. “And he said, ‘I know.’ And then we had a real conversation. That’s when he said, “I’m going to apologize to you and your family for everything I’ve done to hurt you.”

“And what I said to him was, ‘I appreciate that and we’re thankful for the apology. But since it happened in public, you should apologize publicly.”

‘And do you know what he says? “Tell me when and where,” she recalled.

“I’m so sorry I hurt you in any way,” Daniels said.
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Daniels then apologized to the BET star in April 2022 at her event ‘Mo’Nique and Friends: April Fools Day With The Queen of Comedy’ in Staten Island shortly after being asked to star in ‘The Deliverance’.

“I’m so sorry I hurt you in any way,” Daniels told her onstage at the time.

“She was my best friend. My best friend. [‘Precious’] God worked through both of us. And we’re going to do it again,’ he continued.

Mo’Nique – whose new Netflix special, “My name is Mo’Nique,” premiere on April 4 – reflected on the moving moment.

“I don’t know if it’s ever happened in history — that a great Hollywood director came out and apologized to an actress for a misconduct,” she said.

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