A Director’s Painful Journey: How Lee Daniels Found His Hollywood Ending

When a movie is made about Lee Daniels, the moment he reaches this period in his life—when he’s sober, successful and, most of all, happy—will be a pivotal scene. As the director, 61, speaks over Zoom from his home in Beverly Hills, his big eyeglasses come off and on and off his head in a loop as he gets ready to tell the story. All of it.

The childhood abuse he suffered. The drugs. Lovers he lost to AIDS and the two children he adopted, lost and regained. His history of controversial comments. His hard-won sobriety and the perhaps even harder-won, trailblazing career he forged. Because before Lee Daniels, there were few Black directors in Hollywood

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