Jenifer Lewis Suffered A Devastating 10-Foot Fall, And Now She's Ready To Talk About It

The Mother of Black Hollywood is back "walking, talking, singing, and acting a damn fool."

Jenifer Lewis in a bright outfit sitting with a wide smile on a talk show set
Bravo / Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images

In an exclusive Good Morning America interview, Jenifer Lewis sat with Robin Roberts to share her "astonishing and inspiring story from fear and pain to recovery."

Robin in a black floral top and leather pants sitting with Jenifer, in a red dress and necklace

While on a getaway in Africa, Jenifer fell 10 feet from an unprotected balcony.

Elevated concrete structure showing a 10-foot height

"Did you think you were going to die?" Robin asked Jenifer, and she replied, "I did."

Jenifer, in a red top, accessorized with a gold chain necklace

"I didn't know you could be in that much pain and be alive," Jenifer said. "I went from that high kick, standing on my star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame...five months later, I was on the ground of the Serengeti, and that same leg couldn't move."

Close-up of Jenifer Lewis wearing hoop earrings and a black top with gold details
Shannon Finney / Getty Images

The incident occurred in November 2022, several months after the release of her second memoir, Walking in My Joy: In These Streets. The hit show Black-ish had concluded after eight seasons, and Jenifer was celebrating her successful career, with over 300 appearances in movies and on television, by traveling around the world.

Jenifer in a red headwrap and top with arms crossed standing by a podium

"I was going to retire, move back home," Jenifer told Robin. "I had traveled around the world, and life was wonderful."

Brian Stukes / Getty Images

Jenifer's Africa getaway took her from South Africa to Rwanda and the Serengeti. At the end of her first day at the hotel, she fell.

"When the sun sets in the Serengeti, there are no streetlights. It's pitch black," she said. "I was escorted to the lodge, my room, but I wasn't given a tour. I should have been given a tour."

Close-up of Jenifer Lewis wearing a red top and gold necklace, with a warm smile

"I laid out my safari clothes, and I saw the infinity pool out on my deck. So I went out; I was just taking in that I was back in the Serengeti once again. And I'm walking and all of a sudden, I had fallen 10 feet into a dry ravine full of boulders and stones and sharp rocks. There was a space that was not sectioned off, and there was no sign that said, 'Caution, 10-foot drop.'"

Robin and Jenifer during the interview

"My right hip took the impact. My shoulder went up against the stone," Jenifer continued. "A lightning bolt went through my mind's eye. In pitch black, I didn't know I was falling. Nothing would move. So I laid there and said, 'Move your body, baby. Come on, Jenny, move your body.'"

Emergency personnel attending to an injured Jenifer at night

For months, Jenifer managed to keep the devastating incident under wraps, saying, "I didn't want y'all to know I had fallen until I could show you how I got back up."

Jenifer smiling with emergency personnel beside her in an ambulance

"I have been humbled," Jenifer said. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do, but I do know that I have to earn being alive."

Jenifer lying on her side on the red carpet beside her star plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, wearing a bright outfit and smiling
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

After many fans and celebrities showed concern for her condition, Jenifer posted a video to Instagram, captioned, "Don't worry about me, y'all! Auntie's back WALKING, talking, singing, and acting a damn fool!!!" — and now everyone is showing her more love.

Comment by @tarajiphenson: Yaaaaassssss!!!! GOD IS!!!" followed by fire and heart emojis, with 2,778 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
Social media comment from @niecynash1: "Yasssssss" with multiple heart emojis, and 1,614 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
Screenshot of a supportive comment from @yvettenicolebrown: "So glad you're okay; you are NECESSARY in this world! Love you!" with a black heart emoji and 1,190 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
@therealdebbieallen: "YOU BETTER WALK SISTER!!" with kiss, heart, and applause emojis and 1,101 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
@octaviaspencer, commenting with clapping hands emojis and 502 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
@kylapratt commenting with flame and clapping emojis, with 672 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
@natasharothwell comment featuring a series of heart-eye emojis and 60 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
@kimfieldsofficial: "THE BEST!!!! You are always FIYA!!!" and black heart emoji, with 182 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via
@sherrishowtv comments with applause emojis, with 105 likes
@jeniferlewis / Via

Watch the full Good Morning America interview here.