Dawn French has opened up about the racist abuse she encountered during her marriage to Sir Lenny Henry, revealing that they were forced to increase security when someone tried to burn down their house.
The two comedians were married for 25 years until their split in 2010, and while Dawn has said they encountered prejudice throughout their relationship, one incident in particular stuck out for her.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dawn recalled: “I never thought, ‘Oh, look at me in a mixed-race relationship!’ I fell in love with a man and he happened to be black and we adopted a mixed-race daughter. I only realised it was an issue when there was hatred from utter twats.
“It wasn’t brave, it was just doing the right thing. And we were lucky we had a big house and a gate and could employ people to protect us when we needed it. Lots of mixed-race couples weren’t so lucky.”
Since her amicable split from the comedian and ‘Broadchurch’ actor seven years ago, Dawn has remarried with charity worker Mark Bignell in 2013.
Lenny also has a new partner in theatre producer Lisa Makin, who he has been in a relationship with for four years.
Addressing the divorce years later, Dawn said: “[It] had been a very happy marriage for a very long time and you don’t stop looking after each other or caring for each other, whatever has happened.
“It was extremely upsetting at the time but I have clearly moved on and so has he.”