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Celeb Niecy Nash talks about family tragedy

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
April 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Dancing With the Stars" celebrity Niecy Nash breathes comedy, but her life hasn't always been full of laughs. She told entertainment reporter George Pennacchio about the hard past she's had to overcome and how it's shaped the person she is today. "When I was 15 years old I saw my mother get shot and after that experience, our bond just strengthened," said celebrity Niecy Nash. "And I had a brother who was murdered in 1993."

Nash carries her brother's memory on her back with a tattoo that bears his name, Michael Sean Ensley. He was fatally shot three months before he would have graduated from Reseda High.

"I raised her in a very rough neighborhood," said Margaret Ensley. "And I sent my son out to the Valley to go to school which, unfortunately, is where he lost his life. But Niecy went to school and went onto college. She just wanted more for herself."

Nash has carved out a successful comedy career. She is now enjoying her time showing another side of herself on "Dancing With the Stars."

"When I was 15 and saw my mother get shot, her boyfriend who shot her, was hiding in the house," said Nash. "After he shot my mom, he set the house on fire with me inside."

"Niecy was the last individual to crawl out of that burning house as I lay in the backyard suffering from my wounds," said Ensley. "I couldn't move. I couldn't do anything."

"So my mother was just holding on outside because she didn't know, if I was dead or alive," said Nash. "So I'm definitely a survivor."

Today, Margaret Ensley lives with her daughter, helping her raise her three children. When she was raising Nash, she always told her "be true to yourself."

"And you don't come this far to be shaken by a dance competition," said Nash. "You come this far to shake what you got, and leave your mark on the dance floor."

Nash will be performing the Rumba Monday night on "Dancing With the Stars" at 8 p.m. on ABC7.


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