There were no blood relations that tied Morgan Freeman to his step-daughter E’Dena Hines. But the actor was the one who raised her since she was a little girl. Hines had even worked on films that starred Freeman before she was murdered in 2015.
E’Dena Hines became a part of Freeman’s life when he was married to his first wife, Jeanette Bradshaw. Hines was Bradshaw’s granddaughter, born to Deena Adair who was Bradshaw’s daughter and Freeman’s step-daughter. After Freeman and Bradshaw divorced in 1979, Freeman raised Hines with his second wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, as reported by The Sun.
For many years, rumors of Freeman being romantically involved with Hines have swirled around but both of them denied the claims. Speculations resurfaced when the man who murdered Hines alleged that the actor was having a “sexually inappropriate relationship” with his step-granddaughter.
The man who murdered 33-year-old Hines was none other than her boyfriend at the time, Lamar Davenport who stabbed her 25 times outside her building in Manhattan, according to New York Post. His lawyers claimed that if it weren’t for the drugs that he was on, he wouldn’t have murdered her in the brutal way that he did. “Mr. Davenport did not possess the intent to kill Ms. Hines,” said therapist, Dr. Jeremy Colley in Davenport’s defense. “My opinion was that he lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions and know the nature and consequences of his conduct.”
Talking about the relationship Davenport and Hines, Colley also said, “Lamar admitted to me that they had a violent relationship. [Their] disagreements could be emotionally intense.”
During the trial, Davenport’s defense team also spoke about Hines and Freeman have a sexual relationship, stirring up old rumors that have been going on before the murder took place. “E’Dena Hines disclosed to Lamar Davenport and others that her grandfather engaged in a sexually inappropriate relationship with her,” Beth Unger, Davenport’s lawyer said in court.
That’s when the therapist, Dr. Colley claimed that Davenport admitted how he and Hines would often argue about them cheating on each other and being unfaithful.
In one instance where Davenport and Hines were fighting about their infidelities and the troubled relationship they had with each other, one particular text from Hines was seen as suggestive of an illicit relationship between her and Freeman, the man who had raised her.
“I dont ask him for advice,” Hines wrote in the text message that she sent to Davenport on July 3, 2015, as quoted by New York Daily News. “He was calling to ask me… I blocked him for myself not for you because men who equal grandpa feelings dont need to be in my life at all.”
During the same conversation between Hines and Davenport via text, he wrote to her, “when it comes to… your grandfather, there’s a submissive love that will always be there.”
Previously, when Hines was alive, she and Freeman spoke about rumors of their romantic relationship and denied the claims. “The recent reports of any pending marriage or romantic relationship of me to anyone are defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers. What is even more alarming is that these fabrications are now being picked up by the legitimate press as well,” Freeman said in a statement, as reported by TMZ.
Hines had also released a statement that said, “These stories about me and my grandfather are not only untrue, they are also hurtful to me and my family.”
After Hines’s death and the murder trial, Davenport was finally sentenced for the killing, according to Page Six. When the judge gave him his sentence of 20 years, his mother started screaming in court and had to be ushered out. She shouted to a reporter, “Morgan Freeman molested her and he caused this. He did this” and insisted, “He’s innocent! It was an accident!”
His 20-year sentence was still seen as a win for Davenport’s defense team because he was found guilty for the lesser charge of manslaughter.
“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” Freeman said about Hines after her death, according to People. “Her friends and family were fortunate enough to have known what she meant as a person. Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.”