In the early 1990s, Samuel struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. According to a 2021 cover story by Vanity Fair, the “Do the Right Thing” actor believed his addiction was under control, as he always showed up on set with his lines memorized and a willingness to act . However, navigating work, family life and his addiction was a balancing act, which fell through in the summer of 1990.
After a night of partying with a friend, Samuel returned home drunk and passed out on the floor with drugs in his hands. The next morning, Latanya and Zoe discover an unconscious Samuel on the floor, and she immediately decides to enter him into a rehabilitation center in upstate New York. He stayed in rehab for 28 days, and after finishing the program, he began filming Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever”, which catapulted him into the limelight.
Touching on his wife’s influence on his recovery, Samuel told People in 2022, “She gave me the opportunity to be the man I was meant to be.”