By the time Lena Horne was 19, she had met the man who would quickly become her first husband: Louis Jones. According to the star’s memoir, “Lena,” she met Jones through her father. “I thought he was the nicest thing in the world,” Horne recalled, noting that Jones was educated, polite, and the son of a minister.
After dating for three weeks, Jones proposed to Horne — and she said yes. However, as detailed in “Stormy Weather,” Horne’s mother, Edna Scottron, was furious. An unphased Horne knew that marrying Jones would lessen the grip Scottron had on her, so she went ahead with her plans on January 6, 1937. Sadly, marital bliss ended shortly after as Jones struggled to find stable work. “I thought that he should come home and be warm and loving,” Horne recalled in “Stormy Weather,” noting that he was also known to be verbally abusive.
Less than a month into their marriage, Horne began to regret her decision to marry Jones due to his abusive nature. Unfortunately, she was also pregnant by this time, and leaving Jones wasn’t really an option. Thankfully, in 1940, Horne finally broke ground with her singing career, and by 1944, she was able to divorce Jones.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.