Jenifer Lewis Reveals She Suffered Dramatic Fall in the Serengeti

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Jenifer Lewis is revealing that she experienced a devastating fall, after which she couldn’t move and thought she might die, during a trip to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Lewis recalled, in a preview of a sit-down interview with Robin Roberts that aired on Good Morning America, that in 2022, she planned to retire and travel after Black-ish wrapped and she released a book. But in November of that year, an adventurous vacation went awry when she fell off of her hotel balcony.

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During her first day at her resort in the Serengeti, Lewis was escorted to her room but she “wasn’t given a tour.” She wanted to get a closer look at the infinity pool out on the hotel balcony at night. “I went out, I was just taking in the fact that I was back in the Serengeti once again and I’m walking. … All of a sudden, I had fallen 10 feet into a dry ravine, full of boulders and stones and sharp rocks.”

According to Lewis, “There was a space that was not sectioned off. And there was no sign that said ‘Caution: 10 feet drop.'”

She added of the pain she was in, “Of course, I was in shock. My right hip took the impact. My shoulder went up against the stone. A lightning bolt went through my mind’s eye … In pitch black, I didn’t know I was falling. Nothing would move.”

That’s when she called out for her friend, Lori, who had accompanied her on the trip. “It was hard to even take a big breath to scream,” she said. Lewis also noted that when Lori went to get help, the actress heard a lion roar. “My last thought, because I am Jenifer Lewis, was, ‘What a headline,'” she said, laughing. “The king ate the queen: Pieces of Jenifer Lewis’ body being flown back to the states.'”

After recovering from the accident, Lewis was able to appear in NBC’s Night Court revival and Jennifer Lopez’s musical movie This Is Me … Now: A Love Story.

As for why Lewis didn’t open up about this before, Roberts shared that Lewis had said she hadn’t wanted people to know about the fall “until I could show you all that I got back up.” And Roberts revealed it was Niecy Nash who gave her the tip about Lewis, who was planning to post about her fall and recovery on social media at the end of last year.

Roberts’ full interview with Lewis airs Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m PT/8:30 p.m. ET on ABC News Live and will be available to watch on Hulu later in the evening.

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