Jenifer Lewis Has A Great Sense Of Humor About Almost Dying In The Serengeti

The King of the Jungle is no match for the ferocious Jenifer Lewis, who opened up about her near-death experience in the Serengeti in a new interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.

During the Tuesday (March 12) sit-down, the Black-ish star, 67, recalled falling 10 feet off of a hotel balcony during a 2022 trip to Africa. While in her room, she walked out towards an infinity pool on her deck, but fell due to it being “pitch black,” rendering her unable to see a ditch that wasn’t roped off.

“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,” she said, adding, “There was a space that was not sectioned off, and there was no sign that said ‘caution, 10-feet drop.’”

After recognizing she was in “shock,” Hollywood Walk Of Famer described the pain of landing on her right hip as her shoulder crashed against a stone, leaving her unable to move her body. She then called friend Laurie, despite it being “hard to even take a big breath to scream.”

Jenifer Lewis at the star ceremony where Jenifer Lewis is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California on July 15, 2022. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)

“I didn’t know you could be in that much pain and be alive,” she added. “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.”

“Did you think you were going to die?” Roberts asked Lewis, to which she responded, “I did.”

The entertainer also became aware of the wild animals surrounding the ravine, cracking a joke with Roberts about possibly being taken out by Simba himself.

“When Laurie shined her flashlight down there, she didn’t know there was a Cape buffalo 10 feet away,” Lewis revealed. “When Laurie ran to get help, I heard a lion roar. My last thought, because I am Jenifer Lewis, was, ‘What a headline.’ The king ate the queen! Pieces of Jenifer Lewis’ body is being flown back to the states!’”

Lewis has made it a habit to be transparent regarding the most challenging parts of her life, including her battle with sex addiction and her bipolar diagnosis, both of which she addressed in memoir, The Mother of Black Hollywood.

“Had she said, ‘you’re crazy,’ I would have agreed,” Lewis wrote of a conversation with her therapist. “I had been crazy all my life. When she said, ‘mental illness,’ I thought, ‘bi**h, you crazy.’ I associated mental illness with people who couldn’t function, with straitjackets. I certainly knew what a depressive mood was, but this other ‘manic’ part was new. When Rachel explained the details, I gasped. You mean, there is a name for describing why I talk fast and walk fast and rage, create drama, and speed when I drive a car? Compulsive, you say? The doodling, the braiding and unbraiding my hair? The arguing with people and storming off ? Kicking sh*t, throwing sh*t? Yeah, okay, I guess all of that describes me.”