Grammy Award-winning rap star LL Cool J is still shaken up about having a home intruder last summer.
In an interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter that aired Sunday, the entertainer offered Winfrey a play-by-play of the incident from the moment the alarm rang at 1 a.m. to the fear that raced through his mind as he sustained 56-year-old Jonathan Kirby, who remains in custody.
When the alarm went off, the monitor noted the sensor had been tripped in the family room. As LL headed down stairs in his underwear, he saw Kirby.
“He had this Manson kinda beard look,” LL says. “Black jacket, ready to take care of business. Looked definitely scary. I think anyone who is put in that position who really wants to take care of their family would have done what I did.”
Although LL describes the altercation as “knocked-down, drag-out,” he was able to pin down the attacker without the use of a weapon. According to reports, Kirby suffered a broken nose, jaw and ribs.
After LL restrained Kirby, he wondered if there were accomplices. “Once I subdued and had him under control, what I was thinking was, Do I have to finish this guy to check around the rest of the house? What if he had someone else with him. I had to make a conscious decision.”
Despite LL’s athletic physical stature, he didn’t take for granted his ability to take down Kirby. “That doesn’t come into mind,” he tells Winfrey. “You’re afraid the whole time. It’s me or you. I have no guarantee that I’m going to be able to succeed defending my family.”
Winfrey also talked to LL about his music and acting careers, his childhood, marriage, fatherhood and faith.
LL credits his grandmother for inspiring his song “Mama Said Knock You Out,” recalls how his mother forgave his father, who shot her, and discusses scaling back his work in 2004 when his wife was battling bone cancer.