This weekend I watched Lean on Me and Driving Miss Daisy back to back on OWN and I thought, I love Morgan Freeman, I forgot he’s such a good actor. Then I saw reports that he may have actually married his 27-year-old step-granddaughter, E’Dena Hines, or at least plans to, and I thought, I’m disgusted by Morgan Freeman, I forgot he’s such a creeper.
Rumors of this sordid, decade-long love affair have swarmed for several years and many assumed it was the cause of Morgan’s divorce to his second wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, which was finalized in September 2010 with a settlement (hush money) of $400 million. Reports that Morgan was now free to marry his step-granddaughter and had plans to do so were never confirmed, but they were never denied either. What the reports did was get people talking about the actor and his personal life, asking whether his rumored relationship is wrong, questionable, or simply odd.
On one hand, E’Dena isn’t actually his blood relative, and since she would have been about 17 when they began this alleged relationship that puts her at the age of consent — and him out legal trouble. On the other hand, he’s still family and assumedly played a father-like role in her life. Dating an older man is one thing. Dating a man nearly 50 years older than you who was once married to your grandmother and who raised you is another.
Inappropriate would be an understatement to describe the transition from father-figure to lover, and it certainly suggests other inappropriate behavior could have gone on long before the age of 17. After all, what would spark that sort of attraction at that age — for both Morgan and E’Dena. She would have had to have some sort of influence that made her think a relationship with her former step-grandfather would be OK and some think Morgan was that influence. Even when you think about Morgan as a man in his mid-70s, dating a younger woman is one thing, and not uncommon in Hollywood. But a young woman you helped rear? That raises more than eyebrows and side eyes.
Click here to read the rest of this column.